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Which of these does NOT count as exercise?

May 17, 2011
  1. Walking the dog for 15 minutes
  2. Shopping in the mall for an hour
  3. Fixing broken plumbing for 30 minutes
  4. Bowling
  5. Walking 3 mph for 30 minutes

Most studies agree that moderate exercise is when you maintain an elevated heart rate, get light sweating, but can still carry on a conversation. Researchers have calculated walking 100 steps a minute for men will achieve this. It’s simple to use a pedometer* to measure your steps, and a wristwatch to target a 30 minute walk. National guidelines are for 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week, so you should walk 30 minutes 5 days a week, or 50 minutes 3 days a week. An elliptical trainer or bicycle can achieve the same effect.

Answer: Walking 3 mph for 30 minutes is the only one that DOES qualify as exercise. The others are normal activities, or “activities of daily living.” You could invent “cardio plumbing” or “jog bowling” to get the heart rate up and work up a light sweat, but normally those just don’t count. Even if the dog has you walking briskly, it should be at least 20 minutes. As for the mall, shopping doesn’t qualify as “sustained” activity. Short walks interrupted by standing in the check-out line or in front of a rack of clothes don’t keep the heart rate up. *Search “pedometer” (example – $10-20 http://www.target.com/s/pedometer).

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