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How many times a week do I need to exercise?

By July 28, 2008 - 1:54pm
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I am wondering how many times I need to exercise for it to really count. I have read rather conflicting ideas.

One place said three times a week is fine, which is roughly every other day. Another said at least five times a week.

How often does one need to exercise and for how long? Currently I am exercising four days a week (mainly cardio) for 45 minutes each time. It's not likely that I can do much more, given my time constraints. I'm in fairly good shape and exercise to maintain my weight and fitness, rather than lose weight, although I am working on toning up more.

I'd like to hear from others to see how often they exercise and for how long. Thanks!

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I found the answer to your question, at least from one source who sets the national guidelines for exercise in healthy adults. The answer was so long, that I created a separate SHARE blog, that you can read here: https://www.empowher.com/share/strength/national-fitness-and-exercise-gu...

The short answer: exercising FEWER than 2 days/week, for less than 10 minutes, is insufficient in developing or maintaining fitness, presumably this is regardless of your current fitness level or future fitness goals. I thought this would help to have some kind of concrete information.

July 29, 2008 - 2:33pm

I agree with alysiak's response that quantity, frequency and duration, along with intensity-level, of your exercise depends on your current fitness level and future fitness goals.

However, there are national standards and guidelines published by the American College of Sports Medicine (www.ACSM.org) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (www.CDC.gov) regarding Physical Activity and Public Health. The American Heart Association (www.americanheart.org) also endorses these guidelines.

I'll look into the most recent national guidelines and post again soon...

July 29, 2008 - 1:29pm

If you're already fitting what concentrated exercise you can into your schedule, and aware of what other daily activities count toward your calorie burn, you already know what you need to do - for you. If you feel you need to "tone more," incorporate some hand weights or resistance bands into your routine.

The first question anyone should ask: what are my fitness goals. Then, you can find a program that works for you.

Sidebar: most people forget to count their daily activities as part of their daily exercise. Doing housework, laundry, walking up and down the stairs, walking across the parking lot, etc., even just breathing, all burn calories and impact heart rate. Don't believe me? Get a good fitness heart rate monitor (HRM) that also calculates calorie burn.

Here are some good ones:

Polar F
Nike Triax C6

Why an HRM

July 28, 2008 - 6:58pm
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