How Much is Enough?
It can be confusing to try to figure out just how much exercise is enough in this modern, fast-paced world. You want to join the human race and get on the exercise train, if you'll excuse that passive form of transportation. The good news is that there's no more guess work. Read on for the exercise guidelines you've been searching for:
The bottom line is that 2 hours and 30 minutes or 150 minutes per week of medium intensity aerobic exercise (power walking) and stamina building activities on at least 2 days a week working the main muscle groups (shoulders, arms, chest, abdomen, back, hips, legs) are needed.
If you want to step that up, you can substitute 1 hour and 15 minutes (75 minutes) of strenuous aerobic activity (running) per week, keeping in those same muscle stamina building exercises on 2 or more days of the week.
All this sounds much harder than it really is. If you were to take a 10 minute fast walk, 3 times daily, on five days out of seven, you'd have your 150 minutes of medium intensity activity at a minimum of 10 minutes per session. Voila, it's that simple.
Still, the ultimate goal is to increase all this activity over time so that you end up doubling that amount. That represents 5 hours or 300 minutes of medium intensity aerobic activity and muscle stamina building activities on 2 days a week, minimum, working all the main muscle groups.
The harder workout would be 2 hours, 30 minutes, or 150 minutes per week, of strenuous aerobic exercise and muscle stamina building activities 2 days a week minimum, working the same muscle groups.
So you're wondering: what's aerobic exercise? It's any activity that makes your heart beat faster and your breath come harder. This could be biking to the nearest mailbox to mail a letter or mowing the lawn. Just make sure it takes at least 10 minutes to get it accomplished.
The intensity level refers to how hard you work your body during aerobic exercise. Notice we haven't referred to light intensity aerobic activities. That means that most of what you do, just doesn't count. Such activities would include doing the laundry, cooking lunch, or doing grocery shopping. The reason none of that counts is that none of it makes your heart rate climb.
You push the intensity level higher when you can feel your heart beating quicker and you break a sweat. You can still talk, but it's hard to sing along with your Ipod. Here are some examples of the types of activity you can do that are considered medium intensity aerobics:
*Pushing a lawn mower
*Bike riding on flat terrain