We need to exercise to stay healthy, we all know it. But, because of our lifestyle or inclination, we often wonder what is the minimum amount of time we should spend working out. Not being a dilemma for the gym lover who will always exercise enough to stay in shape, the question can be a weekly headache for the “I prefer to read a book in a recliner” person. In fact, it all depends on the type of workout you want to do and the available time you can dedicate to it.
Moderate Intensity Exercise
This type of exercise includes jogging, dancing, biking or, hiking. The Office of Disease prevention and Health Promotion as well as The American Heart Association recommend a minimum of two and half hours a week of moderate intensity exercise. It is roughly equivalent to 20 minutes per day or 30 minutes, 5 days a week.
High Intensity Workout
If you need to reduce the time you spend exercising, high intensity workout known as HIIT, can reduce the required exercise time by almost half. If you decide for this type of workout, the minimum recommendation falls to 75 minutes per week or 15 minutes per day, 5 days a week. But don’t kid yourself, High-intensity interval training is not a walk in the park. It is a form of interval training strategy alternating short periods of intense anaerobic exercise with less intense recovery periods. HIIT is the concept of short burst of high-intensity followed by a brief low-intensity activity, repeatedly, until you are too exhausted to continue. HIIT is generally safe for all ages, but ask your doctor if you have not been active for a while or have any medical condition.
The Journal of the American Medical Association suggests that a “weekend warrior” model, meaning working out for 150 minutes into a weekend, has the same benefit than spreading exercise across the week. But the rate of injury such as tendinitis in this model is higher.
The health benefits of regular exercise and physical activity are hard to ignore. Everyone benefits from exercise, regardless of age, sex or physical ability. It makes you look better, feel better and boosts your energy. Regular exercise helps prevent or manage a wide range of health problems. It reduces the risk of heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, metabolic syndrome, depression and, arthritis.
Once you begin to exercise regularly, you will discover many more reasons why exercise is so important to improving the quality of your life. Exercise reduces stress, lifts moods, and helps you sleep better.
The type of workout you should choose is the one you will stick to. Regular workout is more beneficial than erratic “start and stop” high intensity routines. What’s most important is making regular physical activity part of your lifestyle.