How much should you exercise per week?


How much should you exercise per week?

Whenever it comes to something that requires effort, everyone wants to know how much of it is enough to confer positive effects. I will lay out the results from various studies investigating different durations of exercise a week and it is up to you to decide which duration suits you the most.

Current guidelines suggest that a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise per week be performed. The comes to just over 20 minutes a day or 30 minutes for 5 days of the week with two days rest. Originally guidelines by the CDC and American College of Sports Medicine suggested that 30 minutes of exercise should be performed each day.

Why is there a change in the guidelines?
Recommendations have changed because 30 minutes a day did not seem feasible for most individuals and they would rather some exercise be performed than none. It is essentially the same as telling someone to eat fewer processed foods instead of none. Clearly eating no processed foods is much healthier.

What does the science say?
Compared to being inactive (sedentary), 60 minutes of exercise (which consisted of only walking, in this study) per week reduces overall mortality by 3%. 150 minutes of exercise per week reduced overall mortality by 7%. 300 minutes of exercise reduced overall mortality by 14%. 420 minutes of walking a day reduced mortality by 24%. As seen above, the more you exercise a day, the more of a reduction in overall mortality.

Exercise is not necessarily only walking. It is any aerobic exercise. This includes cycle and activities of daily living such as cleaning the house.

Therefore, the more aerobic exercise you can perform a week, the better. Exercise should be taken as seriously as your work life. There is clear data of its benefits and importance in longevity.


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