The new year is a time when many of us vow to head back to the gym. Moderate exercise not only helps us slim down and look better, it's also associated with all sorts of good health outcomes, from higher energy and productivity, better sleep and sex, and even greater longevity. In many cases, exercise may treat diseases as effectively as drugs, as [/FONT][/COLOR]one BMJ study
[COLOR=#000000][FONT=Palatino Linotype] recently showed.Everyone knows it, but not everybody does it. Just a month after making those New Year's resolutions, 36 percent will already have given up, according to University of Scranton psychologist John Norcross
And overall, American adults aren't nearly as fit as they should be, according to a report on aerobic and muscle-strengthening exercise released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [see p. 326 of the PDF
]. Drawing on data from the 2011 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey, a nationwide telephone survey with more than 450,000 responses, the report looked at who met the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines: two weekly sessions of muscle strengthening, and 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise (or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity).
[COLOR=#000000][FONT=Palatino Linotype]Just 51.6 percent of U.S. adults met the aerobic activity standard and less than a third (29.3 percent) met the muscle-strengthening standard. Only roughly one in five Americans (20.6 percent) met both standards. (And, since the data is self-reported, there's a good chance these numbers might be inflated).
The overall numbers are concerning. And, they vary considerably by state.