Diane May Nutrition Blog

How Much We REALLY Need to Move!

July 30th, 2016

There has always been confusion about how much exercise a person really needs to do. The Public Health recommendations for physical activity have been that adults should do at least 150 minutes per week of at least moderate exercise or at least 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise a week or some combination of the two as well as muscle strengthening at least 2 times per week. What are some of the benefits of physical activity?

  • Decrease risk of heart disease
  • Reduces risk of certain cancers
  • Helps to prevent diabetes
  • Improves lipid panel
  • Relieve stress and improve mood
  • Improves cognitive health
  • Increases functional health

One thing that must also be considered is how much you sit (whether it be for leisure, such as watching TV or for work) a day. A study published in Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice showed that sitting is a risk factor for all cause mortality, even for those individuals who meet physical activity requirements. A new study published in The Lancet  showed that there definitely was an increased risk of chronic disease, such as type two diabetes and cardio-metabolic markers and all cause mortality the more sitting you do, but there is definitely a way to reduce your risk.  For every four hours of sitting you do, you should be doing thirty minutes of exercise.  This means that if you sit at your desk for eight hours, you should be doing one hour of physical activity a day. Sitting is definitely a behavior that can be easily modified.  Set a reminder on your phone to stand at least once an hour, walk around the perimeter of your office, and finding activities that you enjoy to get you moving-bike, jog, play golf, dance, gardening…..just move!

Those over the age of 65 may have difficulty meeting the 150 minutes per week of moderate activity. Just try and be as active as possible.  It is important at this age to focus on balance and do what you can. One of the greatest risks as we age is heart disease and heart failure. A study published in Circulation showed an inverse relationship between heart failure and increasing physical activity. So, even as we age it is increasingly important to avoid a sedentary lifestyle.

It is always important to get clearance from your physician before you start an exercise program. Once you are medically cleared to do physical activity, there really is no ceiling for how much you should do.  The more you move your body, the more you are decreasing your risk of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and early mortality.

No matter how you cut it, moving your body regularly is important and it is imperative to find ways every day to get off the couch, or away from the desk and get that blood flowing!

Curried Shrimp Lettuce Wraps

From EatingWell:  March/April 2016




Makes: 4 servings

Serving Size: 2 wraps each

Active Time: 

Total Time: 



  • 8 Boston lettuce leaves
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 pound small peeled and deveined raw shrimp (31-40 per pound)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons full-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 cup julienned red bell pepper
  • 1 cup julienned snow peas
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil



  1. Wash and dry lettuce leaves well.
  2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp, season with salt and cook, stirring often, until just cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk yogurt, vinegar and curry powder in a small bowl.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat, add the sauce mixture and stir to combine. Serve in the lettuce leaves, topped with bell pepper, snow peas and basil.


Per serving: 156 calories; 6 g fat (2 g sat, 2 g mono); 162 mg cholesterol; 4 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 2 g total sugars; 22 g protein; 1 g fiber; 271 mg sodium; 387 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (59% daily value), Vitamin A (27% dv)

Carbohydrate Servings: 0

Exchanges: 1/2 vegetable, 2 lean meat, 1/2 fat