How much exercise should an average adult do each day?
For most healthy adults, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends these exercise guidelines:
Aerobic Activity Get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity a week or 75 minutes of intense aerobic activity, or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity. The guidelines suggest that you spread this exercise over a week. More exercise will provide more health benefits. But even a small amount of physical activity can be helpful. Being active for a short period of time throughout the day can increase the supply of health benefits.
Strength training. Do strength training exercises at least twice a week for all major muscle groups. Plan to do one set of each exercise, using weights or resistance levels that can strain your muscles after about 12 to 15 repetitions.
Moderate aerobic exercise includes activities such as brisk walking, swimming and lawn mowing. Intense aerobic exercise includes activities such as running and aerobic dancing. Strength training includes the use of weight machines, your own body weight, water resistance tubes or resistance pedals or activities such as rock climbing.
As a general goal, aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity each day. If you want to lose weight, maintain weight loss or meet specific fitness goals, you may need to exercise more. Want to set an even higher goal? You can reap maximum health benefits if you exercise for 300 minutes or more a week.
It is also important to reduce sitting time. The more hours you sit each day, the greater the risk of metabolic problems. Excessive sitting can have a negative effect on your health and longevity, even if you get the recommended amount of daily physical activity.
Short on long parts of time? Even short breaks of activity offer benefits. For example, if you can’t fit in a 30-minute walk a day, try walking for a few five minutes instead. No activity is better than no one else. The most important thing is to make regular physical activity a part of your lifestyle.