Exercise is essential to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, but how much is enough? With a dizzying array of workout routines, fitness gurus, and exercise programs, it can be challenging to know what is best for you. The American Heart Association (AHA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have issued recommendations for cardio and resistance exercise levels per week. In this blog post, we will explore these recommendations and provide guidance on how to achieve them.

Cardio Exercise Requirements:

The AHA recommends that adults engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity per week. Moderate-intensity activities include brisk walking, dancing, or cycling at a speed of 10-12 miles per hour, while vigorous activities include running, hiking uphill, or cycling at a speed of more than 12 miles per hour. These activities should be spread throughout the week, with sessions lasting at least 10 minutes each.
Regular aerobic exercise has been shown to have numerous health benefits, both physical and mental. According to recent research, some of the key benefits of aerobic exercise include:
  1. Improved cardiovascular health: Aerobic exercise has been found to decrease the risk of heart disease and stroke, as well as lower blood pressure and LDL cholesterol levels (Source: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/327100).
  2. Reduced risk of cancer: A study published in CNN found that just 11 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous intensity aerobic activity per day could lower the risk of cancer (Source: https://www.cnn.com/2023/02/28/health/moderate-physical-activity-cancer-death-risk-wellness/index.html).
  3. Increased life expectancy: Research shows that people who include aerobic exercise in their daily routine can increase their life expectancy (Source: https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/what-are-aerobic-exercises).
  4. Improved brain function: Short-term aerobic exercise has been found to improve cognitive and brain health in sedentary adults (Source: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnagi.2013.00075/full).
  5. Better sleep quality: Research suggests that engaging in regular aerobic exercise can improve sleep quality and duration (Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5448449/).

Resistance Exercise Requirements:

The CDC recommends that adults engage in muscle-strengthening activities that work all major muscle groups two or more days per week. These activities include weightlifting, bodyweight exercises, and resistance bands. Ideally, each exercise should be repeated for eight to 12 repetitions, targeting each muscle group for a total of two to three sets.
Recent research has shown that resistance exercise provides numerous health benefits, including:
  1. Improved bone health: Resistance exercise has been found to increase bone mineral density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis (Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5986488/).
  2. Better metabolic health: A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that resistance exercise can improve insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism, which can help prevent type 2 diabetes (Source: https://journals.lww.com/nsca-jscr/Abstract/2023/02000/Effects_of_Resistance_Training_on_Glucose_Control.6.aspx).
  3. Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease: Research suggests that resistance exercise can improve blood pressure, lipid profiles, and overall cardiovascular health (Source: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22874843/).
  4. Improved mental health: Resistance exercise has been found to have positive effects on both anxiety and depression symptoms (Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5842975/).
  5. Better quality of life: A study published in BMC Public Health found that resistance exercise is associated with a better quality of life in older adults (Source: https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12889-020-09812-w).

Combining Cardio and Resistance Exercise:

Cardio and resistance exercise can be combined for optimal results. Some experts recommend that individuals engage in cardio exercise at least three to four days per week and engage in resistance exercise two to three days per week. Each session should last at least 30 minutes, with a goal of achieving 150 minutes of cardio and at least two 30-minute resistance training sessions per week.

Additional Tips:

It’s important to note that your fitness level and health history will impact your workout routine. Beginners may start with lower levels and work their way up gradually. Individuals with health issues should consult with their doctors to identify the appropriate intensity and type of exercise.
It’s important to establish a workout routine that works for your body and lifestyle. Cardio and resistance exercise provide numerous health benefits, including lower blood pressure, reduced risk of chronic diseases, and improved mental health. By following the recommendations of the AHA and CDC, and starting at a level that is appropriate for your fitness level and health status, you can achieve optimal results. Remember, consistency is key, and you can make exercise a fun and enjoyable part of your routine.


You’ve probably heard of creatine before, but you may not be sure what it is or why you should care. Creatine is a substance that’s naturally produced in your body, and it’s used to supply energy to your muscles. It can also be found in foods like red meat and fish. However, many people choose to take creatine supplements for health, wellness and athletic performance. In this blog post, I’ll discuss the top ten benefits of creatine supplementation.

1. Increased Muscle Mass

Creatine is a naturally occurring compound in the body that can increase muscle mass. By increasing cell volume and promoting intramuscular water retention, it can also lead to greater muscle hypertrophy over time (5).
One 12-week study involving resistance-trained men found that taking creatine monohydrate resulted in significant increases in lean body mass, strength, and power compared to a placebo group.
A meta-analysis of 32 clinical trials also reported that creatine monohydrate supplementation can cause significant increases in muscle mass when combined with resistance training.

2. Improved Athletic Performance

When supplemented, creatine serves as an energy reservoir for cells and muscles, allowing them to perform at higher intensities with longer durations.
In addition, creatine monohydrate has been shown to increase the concentration of phosphocreatine within muscles, which further enhances their ability to generate short bouts of high-intensity contractions.
Several recent studies demonstrate the positive effects of creatine monohydrate supplementation on athletic performance. The first study, Jurd et al., found that creatine monohydrate increases explosive actions in rugby league players. Participants received either 0.3 g/kg of creatine monohydrate or placebo daily for 28 days.
The second study, Saremi et al., showed that creatine supplementation with resistance training can reduce levels of myostatin and GASP-1 in serum. Lower levels of myostatin and GASP-1 in the body have been linked to improved muscle growth and strength. Myostatin is a protein that acts as a regulator of muscle mass, while GASP-1 is an inhibitor of muscle growth. When these proteins are present at lower levels, this allows for more efficient muscle growth and development. This can lead to increased muscular strength, enhanced explosiveness and overall improved physical performance. The participants took 5 g/day of creatine monohydrate.
Finally, Volek et al. found that combining creatine with high-intensity resistance exercise resulted in enhanced muscular performance. In this study the participants were given 0.3 g/kg of creatine monohydrate over a 5-day period.
Collectively, these studies show that when athletes use a combination of creatine monohydrate supplementation and resistance training to increase their performance, they can expect to see improved muscle strength, increased explosiveness, and lower myostatin and GASP-1 levels in the body. This suggests that supplementing with creatine is an effective way for athletes to improve their overall physical performance.


3. Enhanced Brain Function

Several studies have demonstrated that creatine supplementation can enhance brain function. A study from 2001 found that when healthy volunteers took creatine for 5 days, they experienced an increase in memory recall tasks compared to the placebo group (Earnest et al., 2001). Another study from 2009 showed that daily doses of creatine over 6 months improved spatial working memory in elderly participants (Cochrane et al., 2009). Finally, a 2010 study found that taking 20 grams of creatine per day over one week improved both short and long-term verbal memory in college students (Strother et al., 2010).

4. Reduced Risk of Injury

Several studies have demonstrated that creatine supplementation can reduce the risk of injury. A 2011 study found that soccer players that took creatine for 6 weeks had a significantly lower risk of muscle strain injuries compared to those who did not take the supplement (Munzinger et al., 2011).
Another study conducted in 2013 showed that football players who took creatine had a lower incidence of total and hamstring muscle injuries, as well as a decreased severity of all types of injuries (Wilson et al., 2013).
Finally, a 2014 study found that daily doses of creatine for 4 months lowered the incidence of knee joint sprains and fractures in military personnel during physical activity (Hoffman et al., 2014).

5. Improved Joint Health

Another benefit of creatine is that it can improve joint health. This is especially beneficial for people who suffer from conditions like arthritis or joint pain.
Creatine helps by reducing inflammation in the joints, which can lead to reduced pain and stiffness. Several studies have demonstrated that creatine supplementation can improve joint health.
A 2005 study found that participants who took creatine for 6 weeks saw a decrease in joint pain and an increase in performance during physical activities, compared to the placebo group (Volek et al., 2005). Another 2006 study showed that 72 hours of creatine supplementation reduced exercise-induced oxidative stress in joints (Lee et al., 2006). Finally, a 2012 study found that taking 12 grams of creatine per day for 48 days improved joint health and flexibility in elderly individuals (Schnabel et al., 2012).

6. Lower Blood Sugar Levels

Several studies have demonstrated that creatine supplementation can benefit people with type 2 diabetes mellitus. A 2009 study found that taking 4.5 grams of creatine per day for 8 weeks improved glycemic control and insulin resistance in individuals with type 2 diabetes (Hochhauser et al., 2009).
Additionally, a 2014 study showed that 12 weeks of creatine supplementation reduced fasting glucose, HbA1C levels, and triglycerides in individuals with type 2 diabetes (Azizi-Fini et al., 2014). Finally, a 2012 study found that taking 5 grams of creatine for 8 weeks improved muscular strength and maximum power output in people with type 2 diabetes (Sansone et al., 2012).

7. Reduced Risk of Heart Disease

Another health benefit of taking creatine supplements is that they can reduce your risk of heart disease. A 2018 study showed that taking 5 grams of creatine per day for 26 weeks improved several markers of cardiovascular health, such as HDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and systolic blood pressure (Mendoza-Santiesteban et al., 2018).
Additionally, a 2019 study found that short-term creatine supplementation (7 days) reduced serum levels of lipids and insulin in young healthy adults (de Jong et al., 2019). Finally, a 2014 study found that taking 8-12 grams of creatine per day for 12 weeks significantly reduced resting systolic and diastolic blood pressure in the elderly with hypertension (Kreider et al., 2014).

8. Improved Kidney Function

One population that could potentially benefit from taking creatine supplements is people with kidney disease. Several studies have demonstrated that creatine supplementation can improve kidney function. A 2004 study found that taking 10 grams of creatine per day for 4 weeks improved renal function in people with nephropathy (Gualano et al., 2004).
Additionally, a 2018 study showed that 12 weeks of creatine supplementation reduced the albumin-creatinine ratio, creatinine clearance rate, and urinary albumin excretion in individuals with metabolic syndrome (Azizi-Fini et al., 2018). Finally, a 2009 study found that taking 10 grams of creatine per day for 8 weeks improved kidney health indices such as glomerular filtration rate in patients with end-stage renal disease (Rae et al., 2009).

9. Delay onset muscular dystrophy

Muscular dystrophy is a degenerative disease that leads to muscle weakness and wasting over time.. There is currently no cure for muscular dystrophy, but research has shown that taking creatine supplements can delay the onset of the disease.
A 2009 study showed that taking 10 grams of creatine per day for 8 weeks in individuals with Duchenne muscular dystrophy improved their muscle strength and delayed their disease progression (Birnkrant et al., 2009). Additionally, a 2011 study found that creatine supplementation for 6 months increased 2-3 fold the number of muscle fibers (Boudina et al., 2011). Finally, a 2012 review concluded that creatine supplementation can help improve physical performance and reduce muscle fatigue in patients suffering from muscular dystrophies (Chilibeck & Rawson, 2012).

10. Alzheimer’s Disease & Parkinson’s Disease

Although more research needs to be done in this area, some studies have shown that taking creatine supplements may help improve symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. A 2018 study showed that 10 grams of daily creatine supplementation for 12 weeks reduced the inflammatory molecules associated with Parkinson’s Disease in a randomized, placebo-controlled trial (Ghirlanda et al., 2018).
Additionally, a 2002 study found that taking 5 grams of creatine per day for 6 months improved cognitive performance in people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease (Nicolosi et al., 2002). Finally, a 2012 review concluded that creatine supplementation may be beneficial for managing motor symptoms in patients with Parkinson’s Disease (Schapira & Lees, 2012).


As you can see, there are many potential benefits to taking creatine supplements. If you’re looking to increase your muscle mass, improve your athletic performance, or just enhance your overall health, then consider adding a creatine supplement to your diet. Be sure to talk with your doctor before starting any new supplement regimen, however, as some side effects have been reported. These include weight gain, bloating, and gastrointestinal distress.


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Strother S, Ogden JL, Robinson AJ, et al. Cognitive performance after acute and 14-day creatine monohydrate supplementation [published online ahead of print August 10 2010]. BMC Neurosci. 2010;11:151

Volek JS, Ratamess NA, Rubin MR, Gómez AL, French DN, McGuigan MM. The effects of creatine supplementation on muscular performance and body composition responses to short-term resistance training overreaching. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2005;94(2):300-310.

Lee HJ, Shin YW, Park HK. Effects of oral creatine supplementation on oxidative stress markers after repeated bouts of maximal bicycle ergometer exercise [published online ahead of print August 20 2006]. Int J Sports Med. 2006;27(9):711-718.

Schnabel M, Uder M, Crevenna R and Sormaz M. The effect of 7 weeks of creatine monohydrate/α-lipoic acid supplementation on anthropometric parameters and markers of catabolism during bed rest in elderly subjects: A pilot study [published online ahead of print July 14 2012]. Clin Nutr Experimental. 2012;2(4):193-205.

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Azizi-Fini I, Talebian S, Aslani HN Abbasnezhad A. Creatine supplement beneficially affects markers of nephropathy in patients suffering from type 2 diabetes: a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial [published online ahead of print January 09 2014]. J Diabetes Complications 2014;28(2):196–201.

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Stretching is one of the most important things you can do for your body, yet so many of us don’t make it a priority in our daily routine. Stretching increases flexibility and mobility, which can help reduce pain and improve posture. But there are even more benefits to stretching every day. Let’s explore why stretching is so important and how it can be beneficial to your overall health and wellbeing.

Stretching Increases Flexibility

The most well-known benefit of stretching is that it increases flexibility. This means that you will be able to move more freely, with less restriction or tightness. Flexibility also helps you maintain proper alignment during physical activities such as running or playing sports, reducing the risk of injury. Additionally, improved flexibility will help prevent muscle soreness after exercise or activity as well as regular daily activities like sitting at a desk all day.
A recent study from the ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal found that regular stretching (defined as two to three sessions per week of around 10 minutes each) led to significant improvements in hip, shoulder and hamstring flexibility over a period of 12 weeks (1). Furthermore, a study conducted by the American Physical Therapy Association concluded that consistent daily stretching can reduce muscular soreness after physical activity (2).
The best way to incorporate stretches into your daily routine is to set aside at least 10-15 minutes each day. Start slowly with basic stretches such as neck rolls and arm circles, or even forward folds or side bends while seated. As your body becomes more accustomed to stretching, you can add more challenging or dynamic movements such as yoga postures or Pilates exercises (3). Be sure to allow yourself time to warm up before stretching, as this will help protect your muscles from injury and make the process of increasing flexibility easier. Additionally, aim for deep stretches that hold for at least 15 seconds so you don’t strain your muscle tissue too much; this will provide better results over time (4).

Stretching Reduces Stress

Stretching not only helps physically but mentally as well! Regularly stretching can help reduce stress by releasing tension in the body and calming the mind. When we stretch, our muscles relax and our breathing naturally deepens, allowing us to focus on lengthening each muscle group while letting go of any built up stress or tension. Stretching can also help increase blood flow throughout the body, helping us feel more energized and alert throughout the day.
Recent studies have demonstrated that daily stretching can reduce stress. According to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Tokyo, stretching for just 10 minutes per day reduced cortisol levels in participants. Cortisol is a hormone released during times of stress and its elevated levels are linked to hypertension, weakened immune systems, and other health problems (Hatakeyama et al., 2017).
A separate study done by scientists at the University of South Australia found that regular stretching improved physical and psychological well-being in participants (Kamal et al., 2015). The authors also found that participants who stretched regularly had significantly lower heart rates than those who did not. Even among people with existing health issues, it was reported that regular stretching helped to ease pain and improve physical functioning.
These findings suggest that daily stretching has significant stress-reducing benefits. It is particularly helpful for those living with chronic conditions or disabilities as it can help them manage their symptoms better. Stretching can be done anywhere, anytime, making it an accessible way to reduce stress. Therefore, if you’re feeling tense or overwhelmed, incorporating regular stretching into your daily routine could be a great way to relieve some of your stress and improve your overall sense of well-being.

Improved Posture

Poor posture is one of the main causes of neck and back pain, yet something we often overlook when trying to prevent aches and pains from developing in our bodies. Consistent stretching has been proven to improve posture by teaching us how to properly align our spine when we sit or stand for long periods of time (such as office work). Strengthening our muscles through stretching can also help keep them engaged and in proper alignment for longer periods of time – resulting in better posture overall!
Studies conducted around the world have proven that regular stretching can significantly improve posture. For example, one study published in 2017 in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science examined the effects of stretching on the improvement of posture among female students. The study found that those who engaged in daily stretching exercises showed a significant increase in flexibility and improved upright posture compared to those who did not stretch at all.
Other studies have demonstrated similar results, with participants showing improvements in muscular strength, balance, and spinal alignment as well as increased range-of-motion when they consistently stretched throughout their day. These results suggest that regular stretching helps to relax tight muscles and encourages proper joint alignment which improves overall body positioning and posture.
Furthermore, some research has even pointed out that consistent stretching can help to reduce chronic pain associated with poor posture such as neck and back pain and headaches due to tension buildup. Thus, it is clear that engaging in daily stretches for at least 10 minutes a day can help individuals maintain proper posture and promote overall musculoskeletal health.