I think that at this point, we can all agree that daily exercise is a must. However, the daily recommendations for the amount of exercise you should get are not clear at all. Surely, you have spoken with your doctor, discussed the importance of fitness with a friend or family member, or watched a prime time special on the importance of maintaining a regular exercise routine. You are convinced that improving fitness with help to improve the health of many of your body’s systems and prevent chronic disease. But how much daily exercise is enough to be fit?
Learn More About High-Intensity Interval Training
Let me introduce you to High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). HIIT is a type of cardiovascular workout that is designed to push your body to it’s limits in order to reap maximal health benefits. Basically, you exercise as hard or fast as you can for a short amount of time, followed by a period of rest. The most simple HIIT workout would be sprinting for 20 seconds (as fast as possible) and resting for 40 seconds.
The high-intensity interval training (HIIT) theory states that shorter bouts of more vigorous exercise is the best all-round approach to fitness than prolonged low-intensity exercise. Yes, HIIT is better than jogging! If you like to jog, don’t stop, but be sure to incorporate a HIIT type of workout into your regimen a few times per week.
Another benefit of HIIT training is that you can burn a significant number or calories for many hours after your workout routine if your workout is challenging, or vigorous. HIIT is also known to burn more fat than traditional cardio workouts.
Therefore, I strongly urge you to adapt the HIIT method of working out. Here is what you need to know regarding daily exercise recommendations:
- Each workout should be a minimum of 20 minutes, but if you can only do a 30 second workout – that is better than doing nothing. Exercise Menu does have a “menu” of 10-minute convenience workouts if you are pressed for time.
- No matter what you do, you should give it your 100% effort! If you can have a chatty conversation or read a book, you are not exercising hard enough.
- Plan a workout routine at least 2-5 days per week, with 48 hours of rest between workout routines that work the same muscle groups.
- Mix up your workouts often to prevent the plateau effect – your body’s way of adapting to your workouts.
- Maintain a healthy diet.
My daily exercise recommendations are based on these reputable resources:
From the CDC:
2 hours and 30 minutes (150 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (i.e., brisk walking) every week and muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms).
1 hour and 15 minutes (75 minutes) of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity (i.e., jogging or running) every week and muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms).
An equivalent mix of moderate- and vigorous-intensityaerobic activityand
muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms).
From the American College of Sports Medicine:
- Adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week.
- Exercise recommendations can be met through 30-60 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise (five days per week) or 20-60 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise (three days per week).
- One continuous session and multiple shorter sessions (of at least 10 minutes) are both acceptable to accumulate desired amount of daily exercise.
- Gradual progression of exercise time, frequency and intensity is recommended for best adherence and least injury risk.
- People unable to meet these minimums can still benefit from some activity.
Finally, here are the recommendations for the American Heart Association:
We suggest at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise or 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise (or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity). 30 minutes a day, five times a week is an easy goal to remember, however you will also experience benefits even if you divide your time into two or three segments of 10 -15 minutes per day.
With all that being said, keep it simple, work hard and you will reach your maximum fitness potential.