How Much Exercise Do You Need?

Tackling a regular exercise routine can be daunting and might cause you to give up on working out all together. Use these tips to make the most of your exercise time.

Do you spend countless hours at the gym each day or is the thought of a 20-minute workout too much for you to handle? Tackling a regular exercise routine can be daunting and might cause you to give up on working out all together. Use these tips to make the most of your exercise time.

How Much?

According to the American College of Sports Medicine and the CDC, you should shoot for 150 minutes of moderate-intensity per week. You can break up this time in a variety of ways. Feel the burn for 30 minutes, 5 days a week or try a split of 30 and 60-minute workouts over the course of 3 days. Even if 150 minutes is more than you’re ready for, every little bit helps. The American Heart Association reports that every hour of walking may increase your life expectancy by two hours.

What Type?

Your body is best served by a combination of both cardiovascular and resistance exercise. So combinations of walking, running or biking (just to name a few options) along with some weight training, pull ups and sits ups, or yoga will cover all your bases.

Tips for Success

If the desire to exercise doesn’t come naturally to you, don’t give up! These tips can help keep you on track:

  • Find something you enjoy – forcing something you hate won’t stick long term.
  • Start slow and work your way up – doing too much at first can lead to injury and then you can’t exercise at all!
  • Enlist a friend or family member to help stay motivated.
  • Diversify! Change up the workouts to keep things interesting.
  • Fuel your workouts properly to make sure you are energized.
  • Make a day off part of your plan. It’s a good way to find balance and you’ll reduce your risk of injury.

Is the gym not your thing? Check our our top suggestions for Getting More Exercise Without Knowing It

Tell Us: How much time do you dedicate to exercise?

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. See Dana's full bio »

You May Also Like:
Keep Reading

Next Up

Eating for Exercise: What, When, Why and How Much?

Eating the right foods before and after you exercise can make the difference between a killer workout and one that just kills you.

Food Fortification: How Much Is Too Much?

Most health conscious folks are looking for foods full of vitamins and minerals, but some products tout good stuff that doesn't exist there naturally.

Exercise 101: Running

It might not be the newest exercise phenomenon, but this no-frills type of workout will certainly pay off if you're willing to work at it. Here are tips to help you along.

Sew Much Food

Crafters are cranking out something new and totally irresistible: crocheted snacks. Inspired by the popular Japanese art of amigurumi (crocheting small dolls and toys).

Healthy Pregnancy: Getting Some Exercise

When you're pregnant, it’s important to take care of your body -- that means getting exercise as well as following a healthy diet. So get out those comfortable workout clothes, lace up a pair of supportive sneakers and get moving.

Exercise 101: Fitness Basics

Exercise time is precious. If you want to get the most out of your workouts, follow these tips.

Exercise Trends Worth Trying

Looking for a new way to work out? Here's the lowdown on the latest gear--and what's worth the investment.