This information about food and exercise was received by an email from Dr John McDougall. In it, there are recommendations that we should follow a common sense diet and a common sense amount of activity each day with no extreme forms of eating or exercise. And which is the best exercise? The one you will do :)
The best recommendations come from recognized, credible fitness/health organizations. Find their recommendations at the following links (and find a quick summary below):
American College of Sports Medicine
Centers For Disease Control and Prevention
American Heart Association
World Health Organization
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
American Council on Exercise
National Health Services UK
USDA 2015 Dietary Guidelines Exercise Recommendations
American Institute of Cancer Research
You can sum this all up by simply saying: Aim for 30-60 minutes per day, most days of the week (4-6), which will depend on intensity, and will include both aerobic and resistance training. Another way to look at it is, 150 to 300 minutes per week. The inclusion of some balance and flexibility work is also recommended.
For most of us, brisk walking along with some resistance training is more than enough. However, if you enjoy another form, just pick the one you enjoy and will do, regardless of whether it is walking, jogging, running, swimming, cycling, exercise classes, etc.
(1) Summary Health Statistics for U.S. Adults: National Health Interview Survey, 2011
Vital and Health Statistics Series 10, Number 256
(2) Frequently Reported Activities by Intensity for U.S. Adults: The American Time Use Survey.
American Journal of Preventive Medicine Volume 39, Issue 4 , Pages e13-e20, October 2010
(3) Physical Activity Council. 2014 Participation Report.