By Robert Newton, Jr., PhD | Associate Professor
and Leah Carter, PhD | Candidate, Kinesiology
It’s important to remember that regular physical activity is good for your health. Physical activity can improve your fitness, help control your blood pressure and blood sugar levels, and help maintain your weight. It can also help to reduce anxiety and improve your mood, which can be especially important in these stressful times. But how much and what type of physical activity should you be doing?
For adults, our government recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity. According to the American Heart Association, moderate physical activity includes walking at least 2.5 miles per hour or biking at under 10 mph. Vigorous-intensity activities include cycling over 10 mph and running.
It is also recommended that adults engage in muscle-strengthening activities of at least moderate intensity that involve all major muscle groups on two or more days a week. You can see more details about these recommendations here.
So how do you strive for these recommendations during the stay-at-home order? We are recommending adult recess. This has been a growing trend in recent years. Why recess? Because recess is fun! It’s a break from the regular day. And all you need is your backyard or living room. Try scheduling a recess consisting of fun physical activity in the middle of your workday. It can provide physiological benefits and help with stress and anxiety. Invite your children or spouse to join in! Here are some examples:
• Play jump rope
• Kick around the soccer ball
• Dribble the basketball
• Do yoga in the backyard
• Complete a virtual fitness challenge
• Have a Zoom exercise class with friends
To reap the best benefit from adult recess, it is important to be consistent. Schedule your recess daily.