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You know you need exercise to be healthy, but how much exercise is enough? Well, that’s a very good question. It doesn’t have a simple or straight answer. To find the answer yourself, you need to know how much exercise for what? Are you looking to lose weight, to maintain a weight, to train for an event, to keep a healthy heart? There are too many factors involved to give a one-size-fits-all answer. We’re going to look at some points to help you decide this for yourself, though.
Here are some ways to know how much exercise is enough:
- According to the CDC, adults need at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each week, in addition to muscle-strengthening activities. This is the recommended minimum to remain healthy. So, if that’s what you’re going for, then this is a good guideline to start with.
- If you’re looking to lose weight, then you’re going to need to burn more calories than you take in. In addition to the CDC’s recommended daily exercise requirements, you’re going to need to push a little harder. According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), 150 to 250 minutes per week of moderate-intensity physical activity yields only modest weight-loss results, and to lose a significant amount of weight, you may need to perform moderate-intensity exercise more than 250 minutes per week. This is in addition to eating a quality, healthy diet.
- If you’re looking to lower your blood pressure, or your cholesterol levels, you may want to add about 40 minutes of moderate to vigorous workouts several days a week. Be sure you talk to your doctor first to ensure you are healthy enough for this increased exercise, especially if you have cardiovascular health issues.
Ideally, you will mix your exercise up with some aerobic activity and some strength-training activity.
It doesn’t have to be long runs or lifting heavy weights. You can work at your own pace and strength level, but a mix of both types of exercises regularly will be healthiest for you. You can walk daily, and do strength training 2-3 days a week, for example.
As a general rule, you should try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day. This could be just a nice walk, or playing basketball with your children. It could also be 30 minutes at the gym. You don’t need to slave away in the gym all day. Again, it all depends on your goals and what you’re trying to achieve with your fitness and exercise plan.
Now that you have a better idea of how much exercise is enough, you can plan your own workout routines.
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