Whether your new year’s resolution is to lose weight or just to maintain a healthier lifestyle, it’s hard to know how often you should be exercising to achieve your goals. So how often should you be exercising?
While there’s no magic number, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends these exercise guidelines:
- Aerobic or Cardiovascular activity. Get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity (walking, biking, swimming) or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week (running), or a combination of the two. Spread out this exercise during the course of a week. To provide even greater health benefit and to assist with weight loss or maintaining weight loss, at least 300 minutes a week is recommended. But even small amounts of physical activity are helpful. Being active for short periods of time throughout the day can add up to provide health benefit.
- Strength training. For maximum results, a workout program should consist of both aerobic activity and strength training. Do strength training exercises for all major muscle groups at least two times a week. Aim to do a single set of each exercise using a weight or resistance level heavy enough to tire your muscles after about 12 to 15 repetitions.
Aim for at least 30 minutes per day
If these numbers are making your head spin, try this simple rule of thumb: aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate activity every day, no matter what it may be. This will help you stay active and lead a healthier lifestyle. With so many of us at our computers all day, simply getting up and reducing sitting time can help too. Just remember to give yourself grace as you get started. If you don’t have time for 30minutes of activity one day, try for 10min and increase the intensity just to keep the routine.
Keep in mind, if your goal is to lose weight, you mostly likely will need to exercise more. And remember, the general rule is to lose no more than 1-2lbs per week to maintain a healthy balance.
Achieve your fitness goals this year
Both cardiovascular exercise and strength training play a significant role in weight loss, increasing muscle strength and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Finding the right balance for you depends on your own lifestyle, schedule and fitness goals.
Should you have the resources and want to learn more about strength training in particular, a personal trainer is a great option to help keep you on track.