It’s recommended that the average adult should complete 2.5 hours of moderate intensity activity, such as cycling or brisk walking, over a week. This is the same as 30 minutes, five times a week.
Lately, research also suggests that this can be reduced down to just a couple of sessions a week, known as being a ‘weekend warrior’.
Basically, as long as you meet your weekly minutes, you will boost your health.
More intense exercise that makes you breathe hard and fast, such as running, swimming laps or rowing, only needs to be done for 75 minutes per week, or just over 10 minutes a day. High intensity cardio workouts such as HIIT are particularly great for weight loss, and a 20 - 30 minute session three times a week is all you need to feel the effects.
On top of the cardio exercise above, don’t forget you also need to do resistance exercises that work all the major muscles twice or more each week. A strength training session should last at least 30 minutes.
To some extent, you can also ‘tailor’ your workout times to your own fitness aims:
There’s plenty of research to show that regular exercise boost psychological well-being. And it doesn’t have to be tough. Regular, daily workouts such as walking briskly for 30 minutes a day, five times a week has been shown to significantly reduce depression and anxiety.
Want to live a whole lot longer? For optimal longevity results, people who tripled the recommended minutes of exercise a week to 450 minutes (an hour per day) will enjoy the greatest benefits, with 39% less chance of dying compared with those who never exercise.
Regular exercise, especially aerobic, is one of the best things you can do to cut chances of developing heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes and strokes. Happily, studies show you can do this by meeting your 150 minutes, at any time, even weekends.
However many minutes you do, there are endless possibilities of exercise, so there’s bound to be something to suit you!
I just think along the lines of 'as much as possible'. With 3 hours at the gym each week, plus lots of walking I don't have much to worry about.
Personally, I think obsessing about minutes spoils exercise. How on earth can you keep track of the little things that count, such as walking and lifting and cleaning and gardening? The overall aim should be to incorporate activity into your daily life as much as possible. Then it will become part of your lifestyle and habits.
It looks like 150 minutes of exercise a week is enough to cover all bases, even done just on weekends, which is great because I tend to workout for 2 hours on Saturday and Sunday then don't do much else!
I walk briskly for at least an hour every day, so I think I'm covered. Phew.