How to Know if You’re Getting Enough ExerciseHow to Know if You’re Getting Enough Exercise https://teamue.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/trail-running-1487718_960_720.jpg 960 640 Emilie https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/11508f46fcb311d28382b7ccd76b6b98?s=96&d=mm&r=g
We all know that exercise is important, but how much exercise do we actually need? The Department of Health and Human Services suggests that all adults should get 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic exercise, or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic exercise, with 2X a week strength training. Moderate aerobic exercise includes activities that get your blood pumping like speed walking, hiking, casual biking or gardening. Vigorous aerobic activity refers to activity that is more demanding such as running, fast paced tennis, dancing, or fast paced swimming. Nearly any exercise can be light or vigorous, depending on how difficult you make it. Even walking can range greatly: anything from a casual stroll to walking on an incline while carrying a heavy load.
Typically it is easy to tell how vigorous your exercise is if you are being honest with yourself. Good indicators of vigorous exercise includes heavy sweating and increased breathing effort. However, a more concrete way of looking at your exercise is by analyzing your heart rate (HR). When exercising, your HR should reach 55%-85% of your maximum HR. The closer to 85% you are, the more vigorous your exercise. An easy way to calculate your maximum HR is by subtracting your age from 220. You can also use Active’s Target Heart Rate Calculator to calculate what 50% and 85% of your maximum HR is. And luckily, there are now many free smartphone apps that will now identify your HR, without the need to pay for a new gadget.
Of course, different exercise goals necessitate different exercise requirements. Prevention.com suggests that if you want to lose weight, your exercise goal should actually be 300 minutes per week. In this scenario, you should still be strength training twice a week. Of course, you can strength train even more frequently if your goal is to improve your muscle tone. So how much is enough exercise? It depends on what you’re working towards! Below are some example exercise plans that you can use, depending on your exercise goal. Please note that all cardio assumes moderate aerobic activity.
To Be Fit and Active:
- Plan 1: Monday: 30 min cardio, 30 min strength training. Tuesday-Thursday: 30 min cardio. Friday: 30 min strength training. Saturday: 30 min cardio. Sunday: rest day.
- Plan 2: Monday: 45 min cardio. Tuesday: 30 min strength training. Wednesday: 40 min cardio. Thursday: 30 min strength training. Friday: 45 min cardio. Saturday: 20 min cardio. Sunday: rest day.
Total: 150 min per week aerobic exercise, 60 min per week weight training.
To Lose Weight:
- Plan 1: Monday: 1 hour cardio, 30 min strength training. Tuesday-Thursday: 1 hour cardio. Friday: 30 min strength training. Saturday: 1 hr cardio. Sunday: rest day.
- Plan 2: Monday: 1 hour cardio. Tuesday: 30 min strength training. 30 min cardio. Wednesday: 1 hour cardio. Thursday: 30 min. strength training. 30 min cardio. Friday: 1 hour cardio. Saturday: 1 hour cardio. Sunday: rest day.
Total: 300 min per week aerobic exercise, 60 min per week weight training.
To Improve Muscle Tone:
- Plan 1: Monday: 30 min cardio. Tuesday-Thursday: 30 min cardio and 30 min strength training. Friday: 30 min. strength training. Saturday: 30 min cardio. Sunday: rest day.
- Plan 2: Monday: 45 hour cardio. Tuesday: 30 min strength training. Wednesday: 1 hour cardio. Thursday and Friday: 45 min strength training. Saturday: 45 min cardio. Sunday: rest day.
Total: 150 min per week aerobic exercise, 120 min per week weight training.
Remember that all of these programs are just examples! Keep in mind how many minutes you should be exercising per week, what your goals are, and how vigorous your exercise is. By tracking your HR, improvement from workout to workout, and overall fitness levels, you will be able to design the perfect program for you.
Digiulio, Sarah. "How Much Exercise Do You Really Need?" Prevention. N.p., 18 Aug. 2015. Web. 26 July 2016.
"Target Heart Rate Calculator." ACTIVE.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 July 2016.
Laskowski, Edward R., M.D. "Exercise: How Much Do I Need Every Day?" MayoClinic.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 July 2016.
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