Everybody knows the importance of regular exercise for general health and wellness, but not many understand how much physical activity is enough. Unfortunately, there is no straightforward answer to this, as the amount of exercise required by different people depends on individual health and goals. Before deciding how much exercise you need, you should first identify your goals.
While you might be exercising for weight control, others may be working out for general physical fitness or keeping their stress levels low. A daily walking routine can help with general health but not weight control. If your exercising goals are specific, say lose weight or lower blood pressure, you’ll definitely need frequent and intense workouts.
Physical Guidelines for Adults and Kids
Below is a breakdown of exercise needs based on age, personal health, fitness goals, and other conditions.
Exercises for adults
According to the U.S Department of Health and Human Services, healthy adults should aim for more than 150 minutes of moderate-intensity workouts and 75 minutes of high-intensity aerobic exercises every week. To achieve this:
- You can spread the physical activities through several days within a week. This is better than trying to complete both exercises within one or two consecutive days.
- If you don’t have enough time during the day, segment your physical activities into short sessions of 10 minutes or so.
- Aerobic physical activities may include biking, walking fast, jogging, pull exercises, and swimming. You should identify the best exercises for pull day for maximum health benefits.
- You should also include strengthening exercises in your workout routine at least twice weekly. This includes sit-ups, lifting weights, and exercise bands.
- Choose physical activities that stretch all parts of the body, including your back, hips, legs, chest, shoulder, arms, and stomach. Repeat specific muscle group exercises at least eight to 12 times every session.
Exercises for children
Children and teens also require exercises for general physical development. Child exercises can either be structured or unstructured. Structured exercises should have a goal and be directed by a professional, such as playing games. On the other hand, unstructured exercises are creative play that children enjoy randomly in playgrounds.
Regardless, children and teens should engage in at least 60 minutes of physical activity daily. Most of this should entail moderate-intensity exercises. This includes skipping, playing basketball, walking, running, biking, and other playground games. Kids should also engage in muscle-strengthening activities, such as push-ups, pull-ups, tug-of-war, and more.
Exercises for pregnant women, older adults, and those with chronic health issues
Exercises for this special population should be different from those of adults in good health. Pregnant women, old adults, and those with health conditions should consult health care service providers for recommendations of physical activities that they can engage in.
Endnote Physical activities provide a wide range of health benefits. If you haven’t been active, you should start slowly and keep adjusting gradually. However, you shouldn’t be overwhelmed trying to achieve your fitness goals within a short period.