How Often Should I Exercise?

This is kind of a loaded question that could result in a book of content. However I will try to make it short and sweet.

 

CSEP known as the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology says this for how often a person should exercise;

To achieve health benefits, adults aged 18-64 years should accumulate at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity per week, in bouts of 10 minutes or more.

What I find interesting is that many more fitness professionals are trying to help the public understand the benefits of strength training. Strength training is not just for vanity and looking good on the beach (Gym, Tan Laundry). It is important for proper functionality of muscles, joints,  ligaments, and overall body movement. Strength training is critical to improving your body’s basal metabolic rate (ability to burn fat efficiently at rest). It also helps with the proper distribution of weight/mass throughout ones body, keeping you balanced.

Here is what CSEP says about it;

It is also beneficial to add muscle and bone strengthening activities using major muscle groups, at least 2 days per week.

Exercising regularly like mentioned above can have benefits like; lowering your cholesterol, improving blood circulation, gaining greater mental clarity, increasing greater lung capacity and the list goes on…

CSEP also says;

More daily physical activity provides greater health benefits.

Here is the link to the Gold Standard in Canada about exercise

CSEP

This brings me to talk about breaking down the 150 minutes of exercise per week. The way I see it, we all have the same 10,080 minutes per week. You can either break down 10 min sessions 3 times spread out throughout the day over 5 days per week, or 3 one hour sessions 3 days per week spread out evenly.

I personally like the 6 days/week format with 30 minutes of vigorous activity each day. This way daily you are adopting the habit of fitness and you can do 3 days of strength training interrupted by 3 days of cardiovascular activity. If you are new to exercise, even the 10 min solution 3 x/day is great. You gotta start somewhere. Just make sure you get a healthy but safe sweat – that means vigorous.

 

Great ways to exercise often is to find something you love to do and requires less of an effort – meaning like a sport or recreational activity. You might love soccer, swimming or martial arts. Newsflash, this is vigorous exercise.

How about these different daily exercise rituals;

  • Fast Paced Walking the Dog (or a friends dog)
  • Bike Riding
  • Taking the Stairs Up to Your Condo or Work
  • Hurried School Walk With the Kids
  • Mowing the Lawn / Shoveling Snow
  • Washing the Car

 

So feel free to leave a comment below and give all the readers new ways of daily exercise we haven’t discussed or any questions regarding how often you should exercise?

4 thoughts on “How Often Should I Exercise?”

  1. Gotta love those CSEP guidelines. I’m sure they can be somewhat overwhelming for most people, but just try to win the little battles and keep building up a decent exercise program. Don’t need to go from 0 to 10. Make healthy lifestyle changes day by day and you’ll see how easy it can be achieved. Thanks great post!

  2. There’s the old saying an apple a day keeps the doctor away…but so does being active. One should be active everyday, things like using the stairs instead of the elevator, cleaning the house, ironing, or Park at the far end of the parking lot. Aside from some of those examples of daily activities one should workout at least 3 times a week. The older we get the more important it is to weight train and keep fit. If you weight train you will not lose muscle mass which tends to be one of the factors of weight gain with age. Also women need to weight train to help in the fight of osteoporosis. Find what you enjoy and always stay active!

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