How Much Exercise Do I Really Need to Stay Healthy?

We all know that exercise is important. But, how much do we need to consider enough? Between work commitments, family responsibilities, and the stress of everyday life, we have legitimate reasons to fall short of doing exercise. In this case, we must set a target in how much time shall we commit in doing exercise.

American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association recommended two and half hours a week of moderate intensity exercise. This means 30 minutes per session, five times a week. Moderate intensity exercise means jogging, biking or swimming. It means you’re working in the intermediate zone. For example, if you’re able to talk to the person next to you leisurely while doing that activity, you’re in the intermediate zone. 

If you don’t have time for five days a week, you can choose to spend 150 minutes during the weekend. However, it could risk overuse injury, such Achilles tendinitis and muscle injury by running for 10 miles without doing any exercise all week.

If you’re time crunched, intensity matters.

Latest research about high intensity workouts known as HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), shows that intensity minutes reduce required exercise time by almost half. This means that spending 30 minutes of such exercise is consider as an hour of moderate intensity exercise. Unlike moderate intensity, high intensity exercise means you’re working hard and conversation is barely possible. Although they’re tough, HIIT workouts don’t have to be fancy. They can be set up anywhere, a living room, a garage, or a basement. All that’s needed is an open space, a light set of dumbbells, and a strong dose of motivation.

 

Why Exercise?

People feel better, look better, and perform better in all aspects of their lives when they exercise regularly. Seen through the prism of the medical community, the medicine of exercise has strong scientific benefits that go far beyond the desire to fit into that new suit or pair of yoga pants.

Exercise isn’t just about getting a good workout, it’s about staying healthy. It can treat depression, anxiety and insomnia. It lowers blood pressure, cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Exercise reduces the risk of inflammatory bowel disease and both prevents and treats type 2 diabetes. Exercise regularly could also reduce the frequency of 13 types of cancer including breast, colon, ovarian and endometrial.

Exercise is the most efficacious drug known to humankind, works for everyone who takes it, has no side effects, and is free.

The best exercise for you

The best exercise for you is the one you are currently doing with a smile on your face. If you are happy, keep doing it and you don’t have to spend time and money to learn new exercise.

In terms of body maintenance, most exercise recommendations involve a combination of endurance training such as walking or swimming, flexibility training such as yoga, and strength training. Find the right balance of doing both moderate and high intensity exercise. Keep doing it and remember not to compromise other aspects of your life.

 

 

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