How Much Exercise Do You Need?

by in Healthy Tips, September 25, 2011
women walking
How much exercise do you need, and what kind is best?

Do you spend countless hours at the gym each day or is the thought of a 20-minute workout too much for you to handle? Tackling a regular exercise routine can be daunting and might cause you to give up on working out all together. Use these tips to make the most of your exercise time.

How Much?

According to the American College of Sports Medicine and the CDC, you should shoot for 150 minutes of moderate-intensity per week. You can break up this time in a variety of ways. Feel the burn for 30 minutes, 5 days a week or try a split of 30 and 60-minute workouts over the course of 3 days. Even if 150 minutes is more than you’re ready for, every little bit helps. The American Heart Association reports that every hour of walking may increase your life expectancy by two hours.

What Type?

Your body is best served by a combination of both cardiovascular and resistance exercise. So combinations of walking, running or biking (just to name a few options) along with some weight training, pull ups and sits ups, or yoga will cover all your bases.

Tips for Success
If the desire to exercise doesn’t come naturally to you, don’t give up! These tips can help keep you on track:

  • Find something you enjoy – forcing something you hate won’t stick long term.
  • Start slow and work your way up – doing too much at first can lead to injury and then you can’t exercise at all!
  • Enlist a friend or family member to help stay motivated.
  • Diversify! Change up the workouts to keep things interesting.
  • Fuel your workouts properly to make sure you are energized.
  • Make a day off part of your plan. It’s a good way to find balance and you’ll reduce your risk of injury.

Is the gym not your thing? Check our our top suggestions for Getting More Exercise Without Knowing It

Tell Us: How much time do you dedicate to exercise?

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. See Dana’s full bio »

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