You've heard about the importance of daily exercise, but what exactly does a health- and fitness-minded workout regimen look like?
After years of research on exercise and its effects, experts have determined that a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity five days a week can help prevent weight gain and decrease the risk for many diseases, including heart disease. This 150 minutes per week of recommended exercise is easier to get than you might think. Here, we'll quickly describe the kind of exercise that's recommended and look at how you can fit it into your weekly schedule in the way that works best for you.
How Hard Do You Have to Go?
Moderate-intensity exercise can mean something as simple as taking a brisk walk for 30 minutes, five days a week. Adding two 30-minute sessions of resistance training to that weekly regimen will improve your strength while further helping prevent weight gain. If you can't find a full 30 minutes, you can up some of your workouts to vigorous intensity -- try jogging for 15 minutes a few days a week and walking or weight training on the days when you have more time.
There are many different ways you could arrange your workout schedule, depending on how much time you have and how energetically you like to train. You can even break your daily workout into 10 minutes at a time and still see benefits. If you have only a few minutes after breakfast, on a lunch break, or before dinner, you can still get your recommended daily exercise -- one step at a time!
Getting the Most Bang for Your Buck
If you want to get the most out of your workout, there are some good reasons to combine weight training with a short jog and other activities such as yoga or intense stretching. Resistance training uses muscle glycogen (a form of carbohydrate stored in your muscle tissue), and studies suggest that forms of exercise that deplete glycogen tend to promote fat burning. If you start your exercise session with something high-intensity, it may put your body in a better state for burning fat in the moderate-intensity portion of your workout.
Following your strength training with 10, 20, or 30 minutes of vigorous to moderate aerobic exercise will promote good health and prevent weight gain -- plus, it'll keeping your workouts interesting. If you're going to go for a longer or more intense workout, be sure to have a light, healthy snack near the beginning. That way, you'll have some energy to sustain you while your body gets ready to start breaking down fat.
Finding the Time
When the weather turns colder, walks or runs become harder to come by, but you can always exercise indoors. And while a gym is a great resource, you don't need one in order enjoy the benefits of strength training. You can perform body-weight exercises like sit-ups and push-ups easily at home. If you want, you can invite friends over to join you and encourage those who live with you to join in as well.
If you live with older adults, pregnant women, or children, remember that they have slightly different needs when it comes to exercise. Adults with impairments or illnesses should exercise with guidance and care provided by their doctors.
People who exercise in the correct way tend to live longer, healthier lives with lower chances of heart disease, diabetes, depression, and certain types of cancers. If you know how much exercise to get and what types of workouts to prioritize, you can put together a weekly routine that works for you and start taking advantage of the benefits of daily exercise now.