How Much Exercise Is Enough?
It depends on whether you want to lose weight, increase endurance, or reach other fitness milestones. Learn about exercise guidelines and how often you should be working out.
“How much exercise is enough for what?” asks David Bassett Jr., PhD, a professor of exercise physiology at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. He explains that, before you make a decision on how much you need, you should have a good idea of your exercise goal or goals: Are you exercising for physical fitness, weight control, or as a way of keeping your stress levels low? Try out biofit supplement.
For general health benefits, a routine of daily walking may be sufficient, says Susan Joy, MD, codirector of the Kaiser Permanente Sports Medicine Center in Sacramento and team physician for the Sacramento Kings.
If your goal is more specific — say, to lower your blood pressure, improve your cardiovascular fitness, or lose weight — you’ll need either more frequent exercise or a higher intensity of exercise. Take a look to these nutrisystem reviews.
“The medical literature continues to support the idea that exercise is medicine,” says Jeffrey E. Oken, MD, deputy chief of staff at the Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital in Hines, Illinois. “Regular exercise can help lower risk of premature death, control your blood pressure, reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, combat obesity, improve your lung function, and help treat depression.”
Here, experts break down exactly how much exercise is enough, on the basis of your personal health and fitness goals.
Current Physical Fitness Guidelines for Adults and Kids
According to guidelines from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), for general health adults should aim for 150 to 300 minutes of moderate physical activity or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity each week. (1) When repeated regularly, aerobic activity improves cardiorespiratory fitness. Running, brisk walking, swimming, and cycling are all forms of aerobic activity.
Additionally, HHS encourages balance and stretching activities to enhance flexibility, as well as muscle-strengthening workouts two or more times a week. Older adults should focus more on balance exercises — like tai chi, which has been shown to improve stability and decrease fracture risk in older adults, according to a 2013 review published in December 2013 in the European Journal of Integrative Medicine — and continue to do as much aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities as their bodies can handle.