Exercise helps keep your weight down, your cardiovascular system in check, your stress under control, your bones strong, and so much more. Simply put, exercise is important for your physical and mental health! But how much exercise do you really need to see and feel the positive impacts?
The Bare Minimum
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that adults spend at least 150 minutes doing moderate-to-intense physical activities, or at least 75 minutes of vigorous physical activities, throughout the week.
This is the bare minimum recommended for healthy adults, but it doesn’t account for your own specific goals or physical needs.
What’s Your Goal?
Depending on your personal health and fitness goals, you may need more exercise than the average adult.
Are you following a healthy weight loss program? If so, your activity level should be enough to meet your weight loss requirements. What about completing this year’s Tough Mudder or another physical challenge? If that’s your goal, ramping up the intensity and duration of your strength and cardio training can help you succeed.
How often you’re physically active is just as important as how much you exercise. Even when you meet or exceed your exercise goals, it’s not healthy to spend hours sitting still – at your desk, in your car, or in front of your TV – whether you’ve been to the gym or not.
In addition to regular exercise, incorporate more physical activity throughout your day by interrupting sedentary activities with walk breaks and standing as much as possible.
When you’re new to working out, motivation is the key to getting up and moving. It helps if you incorporate your exercise sessions with other things that you enjoy. If you love nature, go for a walk or a bike ride. If you’re a social butterfly, coordinate a friendly game of basketball. There are many ways to boost your inspiration and stay motivated, including:
- Compile a playlist of irresistibly energizing songs
- Try an exciting new activity every week, such as Zumba, Nordic pole walking, or ice skating
- Schedule your workouts with a friend or colleague who’s good company
- Read inspirational articles and blogs about other people’s athletic achievements
- Reward yourself with healthy prizes, such as a manicure
- Get yourself some workout clothes that are comfortable and look amazing
Make physical activity your priority. After all, your body is designed to move!