Before deciding how much exercise you need, it’s good to know what your exercise goals are.

How much exercise is enough? It depends on your health and your goals. Before making a decision on how much exercise you need, you need to have a good idea of ​​your goals: Are you exercising for fitness, to control your weight, or to keep your stress levels low? ?

For general health reasons, a daily walk may be sufficient. If your goal is more specific, such as lowering your blood pressure, improving your cardiovascular fitness, or losing weight, you will need to exercise more frequently or more intensely. The medical literature continues to support the idea that exercise is medicine. Regular exercise can help reduce the risk of premature death, control blood pressure, reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, fight obesity, improve lung function and treat depression.

In general, for overall good 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. When done regularly, aerobic activity improves cardiorespiratory fitness. Running, brisk walking, swimming, and cycling are all forms of aerobic activity.

In addition, balance and stretching activities to improve flexibility should be added, as well as muscle-strengthening exercises twice a week or more. Older people should focus more on balance exercises, such as tai chi, which have been shown to improve stability and reduce fracture risk in older people and continue to do as many activities as possible. aerobics and muscle building that their body can handle.

Any increase in physical activity can count towards your weekly goal. This may be because if people can’t do 10 minutes, they may get discouraged and do nothing.
Any duration or form of exercise is better than no exercise, whether it’s 1, 5, or 30 minutes.

Children and teens ages 6 to 17 should get one hour of moderate to vigorous physical activity a day. The majority of those 60 minutes should be spent in aerobic activity, which is activity that involves the repetitive use of large muscles and that increases heart rate and breathing. Children and teens should do muscle- and bone-strengthening activities, such as jumping or exercises that use body weight as resistance, three times a week.

The risks of a sedentary lifestyle are increasingly well studied, with a 2020 study highlighting the many negative effects of inactivity on mortality, heart disease, cancer risk, diabetes risk, depression, joint problems and cognitive disorders.

How much exercise do you need to lose weight or maintain weight loss?

Research consistently shows that incorporating exercise into your routine is helpful for weight loss. For example, a 2017 study concluded that exercising regularly is linked to increased weight loss efforts and long-term weight maintenance. However, if you are trying to control your weight through exercise, this might not be enough. You will probably need to spend a little more time exercising.

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 do moderate-intensity exercise for longer. 250 minutes per week (in addition to dietary intervention). So how much exercise do you need in a day? That equates to about an hour, five days a week. People looking to lose a significant amount of weight, more than 5% of their body weight, should get more than 300 minutes of moderate-intensity activity per week to achieve their goals.

If you increase the intensity of your activity, you can get the same weight control benefits in half the time. For example, in one study, women who did high-intensity interval exercise lost the same amount of weight and body fat as those who did moderate-intensity cardio, but they did so by doing exercise for much less time.

It’s important to remember that once you’ve reached your weight loss goals, you need to keep exercising to make sure you don’t regain the lost weight. A 2014 study looking at the role of exercise in weight management found that one of the main ways exercise helps with weight management is by preventing weight gain (perhaps even more than that). it does help you lose weight).

To prevent weight regain, exercise more than 250 minutes per week. But it varies: Some people need more physical activity than others to maintain a healthy weight, to lose weight, or to keep the weight off once they’ve lost it.

To lose weight and prevent weight regain, perform strength training exercises to increase the level of fat-free mass in the body, which improves the metabolic rate. That’s why, when Harvard researchers followed 10,500 men for 12 years, those who did 20 minutes of strength training a day gained less belly fat than those who spent the same amount of time doing cardiovascular exercise.

How much exercise do you need to improve your cardiovascular health?

Fortunately for anyone trying to improve their heart health, a little exercise isn’t enough. For overall cardiovascular health, aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week or at least 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity per week.

Other research shows that aerobic exercise is the most effective form of exercise for improving measures of cardiometabolic health, including insulin sensitivity, glucose tolerance, and blood pressure. Do muscle-strengthening activities at least two days a week to help preserve and build lean muscle.

Before engaging in high intensity exercise, especially if you have a history of heart disease, it is important to ask your doctor what exercise intensity is safe for you. And, again, remember that it is not It’s okay to work until you reach your target exercise level. Whatever your goals, a little exercise will always be more beneficial than none. Small steps sometimes get the best results.

* criptom strives to transmit health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE, the information given can not replace the opinion of a health professional.