Exercise: How Much Do I Need Every Day?

Updated on September 5, 2019

We all know the importance of exercising. Regular physical activity benefits both the mind and body in various ways, from maintaining a healthy body weight to improving mental well-being. With so many benefits gained from exercise, it is remarkable that more people aren’t doing it every day!

Of course, the prospect of daily exercise is quite daunting, especially for people that aren’t in the best physical shape. But considering we live a longer, healthier life when taking part in regular physical activity, there is no time like the present to start exercising.

To start gaining the physical and mental benefits of exercise, it’s important to stick with the routine long enough to make it into a habit. Exercising every day is one way to achieve this, although there are various ways that you can hit the weekly exercise recommendation for an adult.

Granted, certain factors influence how much you can exercise each day throughout the week, so it helps to know what the daily recommendation of exercise is so you know where to get started. Let’s take a closer look at how much exercise you need each day.

How Much Cardio Exercise Do I Need Every Day?

Instead of looking to complete a set amount of exercise each day, it helps to look at the amount of weekly exercise you need, as this can be broken down into different amounts each day.

Moderate Cardio Exercise

For example, adults aged 19-64 are advised to complete 150 minutes of moderate cardio exercise each week. This means you can divide the 150 minutes across the entire week, whether it’s fewer days of longer exercise or vice versa.

Many people prefer to keep things simple and exercise Monday to Friday. In the case of hitting your weekly cardio recommendation, that works out at 30 minutes of moderate cardio each weekday. This could be walking, jobbing, or a less rigorous cycle for 30 minutes five days a week.

Not everyone wants to exercise 30 minutes every day though. If that doesn’t appeal, you can exercise for 10 minutes three times each day. This helps break up the intensity of the workout while still hitting your daily recommendation.

Intense Cardio Exercise

You don’t need to stick to moderate cardio exercise. If you want a more intense exercise, such as swimming, running, or cycling, then you only need to complete 75 minutes of cardio exercise each week.

Following the same Monday to Friday pattern, you only need to complete 15 minutes of intense exercise during weekdays. Should you prefer, you can exercise for longer periods – such as 25 minutes – and only need to exercise around 3 times a week.

It’s all down to personal preferences. Some prefer intense exercise a few times a week while others like to keep things less demanding, especially if dealing with aches, pains, or other physical ailments.

Providing the exercise leaves you breathing hard then it can be classified as intense. Just look to hit 75 minutes throughout the week, whether it’s a small amount of daily exercise or a few days of intense exercise.

Combing Moderate and Intense Cardio Exercise

Sticking to a daily exercise regime is tough, which is why many do both intense and moderate exercises to hit their weekly recommendation. For instance, going for an intense 30-minute bike ride twice a week and one day of moderate walking gets your weekly recommendation of cardio exercise.

Varying the intensity of workouts is a great way to stay committed. Those days where you lack the energy or motivation to go for a hard workout can be used for less intense workouts, such as a long-distance walk or a few 10-minute circuit exercises.

Breaking up the monotony of cardio is one of the most effective ways of sticking to it! You get all the benefits of regular exercise but in a more manageable way. Also, it often helps to have a variety of workout options to keep things interesting, with various types of moderate and intense cardio workouts available.

Popular moderate cardio workouts include things like brisk walking, going for a hike, cycling on even terrain, water aerobics, or moderately paced swimming.

Intense cardio exercises that many enjoy includes running, jogging, high speed cycling, fast swimming, jump ropes, circuit exercises, and playing sports (e.g. five aside football, game of squash).

How Much Strength Training Do I Need Every Day?

While strength training isn’t as important for our long-term physical health as cardio training, it’s still highly recommended that you complete some strength training throughout the week. Doing so helps to build and tone muscle, improve bone health, and increase our flexibility.

The good news is your daily recommendation for strength training exercises is far less than cardio. In fact, you only need to do two days of strength training each week, although most people enjoy doing more than this, especially because it’s less physically draining and intense than cardio. Exercises such as the ones outlined below by Gym Equipment GB gcan be performed both in the home or at the gym.

You can use free weights, body weigh exercise, or weight machines at the gym to hit your weekly recommendation. Select a strength exercise (e.g. bicep curl) and complete multiple sets of repetitions, with one rep equalling one complete movement and a set being the number reps completed.

The goal is to isolate certain muscles and work them out to the point where it is difficult to continue exercising. This helps to improve muscle strength and flexibility, while you can even add muscle mass through regular strength training and a suitable diet.

Strength training differs from cardio in that there is no set time you should work out each day. It’s mostly down to your own capabilities, as some people take longer to complete sets and reps due to their strength levels, physical health, or fitness goals.

Also, anyone that wants to improve their physique will likely want to strength train a lot more of their muscles, meaning more frequent workouts, often 5-6 days per week.

So, to keep things simple, measure strength training in sets and reps. For example, completing one set of 8-12 reps is minimum recommendation for each muscle group. Muscle groups to exercise include back, arms, legs, and shoulders.

If you want to enjoy more benefits of strength training, complete more sets and reps while working on various muscle groups throughout the week. This usually means strength out around 3-5 days a week for between 20-60 minutes each day.

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