In 2008, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services advised adults to get no fewer than three days of physical activity a week.
And the three-days-a-week plan fits nicely into many people's busy schedules. The question, however, is it actually enough?
What Are Your Fitness Goals?
Defining your goals and objectives is important before you begin any workout program. For most people who want to improve their fitness and stay in shape over the long-term, three to five days of exercise a week can be sufficient, depending on the intensity of workouts.
If you're used to a more active lifestyle, then five to six days a week might produce better results for you.
How Much Is Enough?
It's been shown that adults reap more benefits when they exercise at moderate intensity for a minimum of 150 minutes a week. But benefits also hinge on the intensity of your workout: vigorous exercise (such as running) provides health benefits that are comparable to moderate exercise in half the amount of time.
In other words, if you work out out three times a week, aim for 50 minutes of moderate activity, or 25 minutes of vigorous activity, per workout.
Health benefits increase when you exercise more than three days — or 150 minutes — per week, however, as well as when you up your intensity from moderate to vigorous.
What’s Most Effective For Weight Loss And Overall Health?
Studies from the American Council on Exercise show that people who most successfully kept weight off after losing a significant amount were those who worked out at for at least an hour a day, five days a week. This also included other lifestyle habits, such as a healthy diet.
Meanwhile, the American Cancer Society recommends 45 to 50 minutes of exercise five times a week to lower your breast cancer risk.
Exercising 300 minutes a week, as you would working out five to six times per week, definitely requires dedication and a time commitment. But it's still effective if you break it up into 10-minute sessions of moderate to vigorous exercise.
What's considered moderate to vigorous exercise? Any type of exercise in which your heart beat is raised and your breathing becomes harder.
A certified professional trainer like Ralph Roberts will help you find a fitness program that best suits you, your budget and your schedule. Contact Ralph Roberts Training today to learn more about how we can help you can become the healthiest version of you!