By Dr. Mehmet Oz and Dr. Mike Roizen, MDs
You want to become your healthiest self, but it can seem daunting. Well, we’ve figured out how you can get the most bang for your buck and muscle for your sweat and have a younger body and mind.
Your goal is to do four types of physical activity weekly: walking, strength building, bone strengthening (jumping), and stamina building. You also want to limit inactivity to 60 minutes at a stretch. That combination gives you the very best results — rolling back your risk for disease and disability and increasing longevity.
You want to get 10,000 steps a day or a moderate-intensity equivalent; 30 minutes of resistance exercise a week, including some for hand and core strength; 20 jumps a day; and 20 minutes of cardio three times a week, done at a heart rate of 80% or more of your age-adjusted maximum — that’s 220 minus your calendar age.
If you follow those recommendations, in addition to a stronger heart, you’ll have improved metabolic function and decreased risks of obesity, osteoarthritis, bone fractures, and Type 2 diabetes, increased mental alertness and improved short-term and long-term memory, a stronger immune system, and a healthier gut microbiome.
Walking 10,000 steps a day is optimal for improving insulin resistance and reversing the fat accumulation-inflammation cycle. It also increases the size of the brain’s memory center, your hippocampus, by up to 2% in a year.
Building muscle burns calories and improves insulin resistance as it strengthens balance, protects against arthritis-related disabilities, and fights inflammation. Aim to exercise the largest muscle groups, and abdominal, hip, and butt muscles. You can use dumbbells, resistance bands, medicine balls, your own body weight (pushups and squats), or even cans of soup.
If you’re out of shape, you want to start with walking and then strength-building for a few weeks before you do cardio in order to have the muscle strength you need for endurance. Then you can embrace the full program.
Jumping builds bone strength, especially hip bones, and that helps strengthen your immune system too.
Building stamina with sweaty fun: Aim for a minimum of 60 minutes a week of aerobic activity — ideally in three 20-minute sessions. Opt for low-impact swimming, cycling, or using an elliptical trainer to get your heart rate up without harming joints.
Interval training will provide the maximum cardiovascular benefit, stress reduction, immune strengthening and respiratory health.