How Much Exercise Do You Really Need?

How Much Exercise Do You Need?

Exercise is important for your overall health and wellness. Most people understand that. However, how much exercise do you really need? And how often should you exercise?

Most major health organizations agree with the following:

  • For moderate intensity exercise, aim for 150 minutes per week
    • Try to break up your exercise into 30 minute sessions, five times a week
  • For more vigorous exercise, such as running, aim for 75 minutes each week
    • In this case, try to do three days of exercise, with 25-minute chunks each day

Exercising in multiple sessions throughout the week is generally healthier than doing one very long exercise session each week.  It’s also a good idea to do strength training exercises for all major muscle groups at least twice a week.

While the general goal should be to exercise between 25-30 minutes each session, you can do shorter workouts if that’s all the time that you have. Even a ten-minute workout is beneficial. Don’t start thinking that it’s not worth exercising if you can’t do 30 minutes at once. Even a small amount of exercise is better than no exercise at all.

It’s a good idea to try to incorporate exercise into your lifestyle. Not only will this make it more likely that you’ll have time for it, but it will also keep you from feeling like exercise is harming your quality of life. Exercise should improve your life, not detract from it.

Also, remember that little things add up. If you walk to and from work each day, or go for a walk at lunch instead of sitting at your desk, this counts as exercise. A fifteen-minute walk to the store and a fifteen-minute walk back equals 30 minutes of exercise. Do this twice a week and you’re at 60 minutes for  the week.  Add in a 30-minute bike ride and 20 minutes spent mowing the lawn on the weekend and you’re up to 150 minutes for the week.

Do what works for you and, as often as possible, choose the more active option over the less active one. This means walking or biking instead of driving, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, and going for a hike with a friend instead of meeting at a coffee shop. You’ll soon find that, if you make exercise a part of your life, it will become easier for you.

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