How much exercise do I need?
Poor diet and physical inactivity, resulting in an energy imbalance (more calories consumed than expended), are the most important factors contributing to the increase in overweight and obesity in this country.
So Americans need to make time to exercise and find a way to work the recommended amount of physical activity into a busy schedule, whether its 30 minutes or 90. The good news: you can do it in bits and pieces!
For most healthy adults, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends these exercise guidelines:
- Aerobic activity. Get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity (brisk walking) or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity (running) a week, or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity. Even small amounts of physical activity are helpful, and accumulated activity throughout the day adds up to provide health benefit.
- Strength training. Do strength training exercises for all major muscle groups at least two times a week. Aim to do a single set of each exercise, using a weight or resistance level heavy enough to tire your muscles after about 12 to 15 repetitions.
As a general goal, aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity every day. If you want to lose weight, maintain weight loss or meet specific fitness goals, you may need to exercise more. Learn more here with our article “I’m exercising but not losing weight“.
Meeting the 30-minute threshold will help a person maintain a healthy weight and reap health benefits like lowering the risk of heart disease, osteoporosis, diabetes, and hypertension.
Is 30 minutes enough?
30 minutes a day if you’re a person of normal body weight and you just want the health benefits of being physically active, 60 minutes if you want to control your weight, and 90 minutes if you want to lose and sustain.
You should strive to be as physically active as you can throughout the day.
Suggestions on how to do it!!!!
- Be physically active by doing things you actually enjoy
- Make it a group event
- Simple things matter- take the stairs, park far away from entrance
- Try something new- rock climb, swim, snow shoe
- Find a support system and reward yourself
- Start with 30minutes and see how you do
We are all BUSY!!
Short on long chunks of time? Even brief bouts of activity offer benefits! Decrease your sitting time and make regular physical activity part of your lifestyle!