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We’re frequently told that we need 30 minutes of exercise five days a week to get great health benefits. But recent research has shown that you can actually do less and still get significant improvements in your physical condition. Simply going for a one-hour walk each week can reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke.
So, how much exercise should you do daily and weekly? Find out more here…
How much exercise you do can be broken into manageable targets. Any activity at all is better than none. You can achieve set goals by reducing the time you spend sitting, or lying down, and breaking up these periods of not moving with some physical activities in-between.
The longer you sit the greater your risk of potential metabolic issues. Being inactive for long periods of time can impact on your health and lifespan.
You can choose to do a mix of moderate, vigorous, and very vigorous intense activity – just bear in mind that the level of activity must be appropriate for your level of fitness.
Age 3-5 years – encourage around three hours of various activities every day. This can be fun things such as skipping, playing tag, and learning to swim. Simply running around after nursey or school all counts.
Age 6-17 years – an hour a day of sport works perfectly – tennis, basketball, football. Skipping is ideal for youngsters, and household chores for teen such as mowing the lawn or cleaning the bathroom will give a mix of aerobic and muscle-strengthening exercise.
Age 18-64 – to stay healthy recommended guidelines are 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous activity. See below for more details.
65+ - strive to be as active as you can and also engage in balance training of some description. This helps prevent falls as you get older. Regular exercise helps you breathe more easily, reduces anxiety and depression, and lowers your risk of all kinds of disease.
How much exercise should you do a week? The recommendation is for 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week – or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity, or a combination of both. Break this up into doable levels for the exercises to provide the maximum health benefits.
How much exercise should you do a day? As a usual rule, aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate physical exercise every day. If you want to meet specific goals you can increase how much exercise a day is achieved. This will help with weight loss too.
Remember that if time plays a factor in how much exercise per day you’re able to do, try breaking down the activity periods. Try fewer five-minute walks instead of one 30-minute one. The important factor is that you’re making regular physical exercise a part of your daily routine.
What is moderate exercise?
Moderate activity raises your heart rate and encourages faster breathing. You’ll feel warm following the exercise, but you’ll still be able to talk easily. Moderate aerobic exercise covers activities like:
It’s estimated that 75 minutes of vigorous exercise can provide similar health benefits to 150 minutes of moderate exercise. Examples of vigorous exercise activities include:
Very Vigorous Activity
This type of exercise is also known as High-Intensity Interval Training and are performed in short bursts with rest breaks. Very vigorous activities include:
How often should you exercise? Doing strength training for all muscle groups at least twice a week will give optimal results. The five basic strength training exercises are:
If you want to complete strength training exercises at home you can complete sets of:
Remember that you’ll need to prepare your muscles before you start with a proper warm-up. This helps to increase the range of motion which ultimately gives better results. How much exercise per week? Begin with two days for two to three weeks then add a third day. You can eventually work your way up to strength train three to five days a week.
How much exercise is too much?
This depends on many factors such as your age and general health. Around five hours of moderate exercise a week – or two and a half hours of more intense activity. You may find you get some of the following symptoms if you’ve been exercising too much:
As it takes time to recover from exercising too much, you’ll need to rest completely for up to two weeks. You can avoid overdoing things by eating and drinking enough for your level of exercise, cutting back when you don’t feel well, not exercising in extremes of temperature, and resting for at six hours between exercise bouts.
Activ5 is a portable fitness device that fits into the palm of your hand – and can be used for a whole range of strength training exercises. It uses isometric exercise which involves contracting and tensing groups of muscles, measuring the force you apply with the squeezing motion, and asking you to vary this upon demand during the workout.
Working the muscles this hard and burning a lot of calories results in an increase in muscle strength – the more muscle you have the more calories you burn and the more weight you lose!
Workouts start from as little time as five minutes – and you can do them anywhere as Activ5 simply fits in your pocket or bag. You’ll get a full-body toning, coaching progress, and results tracker. Exercising for just five minutes, three times a day, for six weeks will boost strength and reduce body fat.
Henry Warren I am a professional writer and health & wellness enthusiast.