Adults Need 2.5 Hours of Exercise Per Week For Good Heart Health

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The typical American adult is an extremely busy creature. From a 40-hour workweek (sometimes even more) to familial duties, who has time to work out? According to a new survey, plenty of busy Americans share just this sentiment.

And unfortunately, because of our hectic schedules, many of us aren’t getting the recommended amount of weekly exercise — clocking in at just 2.5 hours. According to a survey conducted by the Cleveland Clinic, this may be due in part to the fact that only one in five adults actually know what the daily recommendations are.

In the study, Dr. Steven Nissen of the Cleveland Clinic found that 51% of individuals exercise to lose or maintain weight, and only 32% of people exercise for a healthy heart. Dr. Nissen, the chairman for the department of cardiovascular medicine at the Cleveland Clinic, finds these stats to be concerning, as it shows “a lot of people don’t appreciate how important exercise is for your heart.”

In the U.S., especially, we should all be thinking about our hearts more often than not. Approximately 25% of Americans die from heart disease. If people exercised more, Nissen believes that these stats could be reduced by as much as 40 to 60%.

But like we said earlier, sometimes the biggest impediment on the average American’s exercise regimen is a busy schedule. The study found that 41% of Americans listed job obligations as their top impediment from exercising more, 28% blame commitments to family and friends, and the rest say they are too tired.

While these excuses are valid, many fail to realize that even 20 minutes of light exercise can help to increase energy levels overall. And while children and adolescents need up to 60 minutes of exercise per day, adults only realistically need 30 minutes of exercise five days a week.

“It clears your head and the more you do the more eager you are to do it,” says Nissen.

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