Defining my minimum activity level

This article from 2014 has been circulating through my social media feed the past week:

Can exercising for just 60 seconds a week transform your health?

I highly doubt 60 seconds a week will have the health impact I need but it did get me thinking about how I now define my minimum activity level. For me it’s the minimum amount of movement I need to be mentally and physically well. It’s like the Judo effort:

My minimum is more than the minimum Canadian Physical Fitness standards:

“To achieve health benefits, adults aged 18-64 years should accumulate at least 150 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity per week, in bouts of 10 minutes or more.

It is also beneficial to add muscle and bone strengthening activities using major muscle groups, at least 2 days per week.”

I realize minimum activity statements are there to give accessible activity guidelines to what most people need to be healthy. I’ve decided I need more than that.

First there’s a baseline of 1 hour of walking a day. Weekdays that’s my commute to and from work and on the weekends walking my two dogs on Saturday and Sunday. If I don’t walk that much I get aches and pains. I need that gentle movement to pop my joints and stretch my muscles.

Second, some high intensity stuff. I need 3 hour long workouts a week. Whether it’s swimming, running or cycling, I need that high energy activity to release all the stress response in my body.

Third, the functional doing of my life, lifting mulch, digging holes, going to the beach, helping friends are all served by the first two things. Need help moving? Yes, I can do that and not get hurt. For me I expect to be able to go camping on my own and be ok. To cut down a tree, to move furniture, lift my 90 lb dog or my 120 lb kid.

What is your minimum exercise threshold? Is it more than the recommended minimum of your public health agency? Less? How do you decide?

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