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How much exercise do I need to do to stay healthy?

How much exercise do I need to do to stay healthy?

From losing weight to improved mental health, the benefits of exercise appear endless. But is more always better?

It can be hard to wade through the realms of information and find the ‘sweet spot’. The amount and type of workout you do depends ultimately on your fitness goals. Sadly, there’s no one-size-fits all. But we’ve got some general principles to help you make savvy decisions.

HOW MANY DAYS A WEEK AND MINUTES SHOULD I TRAIN?

If you’re a once or twice a week moderate exercise kinda’ person, you won’t achieve much more than a low level of fitness.  However, even 60-90 minutes a week can help your heart by lowering blood pressure, and 120 minutes of aerobic exercise will boost your memory.

No spare minutes in the day? Use your time wisely and you can get an efficient and effective workout done in 30 minutes. An interval training workout once a week is shown to lower your risk of type 2 diabetes.  There’s no excuses!

Those seeking a more moderate path will be happy to learn that moderate-intensity exercise done three times a week for a total of 150 minutes will help you reach your fitness goals quickly. It’s also the minimum needed to begin to tap into the health benefits of exercise, lose weight and reduce your risk of diseases such as cancer and heart disease.

Up this to 175 minutes and there’s a reduction in symptoms of stress and depression. Exercise seems to melt stress away and of all the benefits this is one you’ll notice immediately.

What’s that? You work out four to five times a week? We are in awe of your commitment (and envious of your free time!) The great news is that at least 30 minutes of moderate-vigorous exercise five days a week will make you stronger, fitter, leaner, and your health benefits soar.

Those amazing people who manage 450 minutes of exercise a week (three times the recommended amount) will significantly reduce their risk of premature death by 39 percent. They can also eat more and get away with it! Not a bad deal.

The overall message is the more exercise you do the more health benefits you get. The choice is up to you.

Photo by Jenny Hill on Unsplash

the author

Kath Webb

Kath is a contributing writer for Hussle. Football, running, weight training, yoga and walking are her forte, along with cooking tasty, nutritious food - with a regular batch of cake chucked in.

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