How much exercise is enough?
The American College of Sports Medicine has recommended that everyone undergo at least 2 1/2 hours of vigorous therapeutic exercise per week. This can be broken down into five 30-minute sessions or a few longer sessions. It should involve an exercise that raises the heart rate and is a noticeable, vigorous effort. This can involve endurance sports, the use of cardiovascular machines or exercise classes, or strength training. Participation in skilled sports, such as tennis, basketball and others also counts towards one’s weekly exercise total. There should be a balance of strength, endurance and flexibility exercise in the overall mix for injury prevention.
Look to your physician, physical therapist, fitness trainer, or other health care provider to equip you with an individualized program that is right for you.
Exercising the core muscles in your lower back and abdominals will help support your spine and take pressure off your lower back. This can dramatically decrease lower back pain and assist with balance. Remember, do not push into pain.
Garber, et al.; Quantity and Quality of Exercise for Developing and Maintaining Cardiorespiratory, Musculoskeletal, and Neuromuscular Fitness in Apparently Healthy Adults: Guidance for Prescribing Exercise. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 43(7): 1334-1359, July 2011.
Resources providing further information about various forms of physical activity and general health.