- For general health: Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity activity most days of the week -- or a total of at least 2 hours and 30 minutes (150 minutes) a week.
- For even greater health benefits and to lose weight and maintain weight loss: Aim for 60 to 90 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity activity most days of the week -- or a total of at least 5 hours (300 minutes) a week. Research has shown this level of activity to be a factor common to people who successfully lose weight and maintain their weight loss.
A Answers (7)
Intermountain Healthcare answeredThe following are targets for how much aerobic activity you should do:
Most adults over the age of 18 should get at least two and half hours of moderate activity a week. This can be achieved by walking briskly for 30 minutes 5 times a week. Alternatively you can do intense activity, such as jogging/running, for just 75 minutes a week to obtain the same health benefits. As your stamina improves you can increase your exercise to either 5 hours of moderate activity or two and a half hours of vigorous activity for even greater health benefits.
Moderate activity exercises include brisk walking, riding a bike on a flat surface, mowing the law. You should feel your heart rate increase and break a sweat. Intense activity includes jogging, tennis, fast biking, and basketball. You should not be able to speak much without pausing for breath.
Aerobic activity should be partnered with muscle strengthening activity such as weights and yoga, at least twice a week.
Jeff Croswell , NASM Elite Trainer, Fitness, answeredHow much aerobic activity you should do is all based on your level of fitness and what your goals are. Now for many who have not done much aerobic activity you want start out slow and pace yourself. You will find that the more you do your endurance will pick up pretty quickly. Now if you aerobic activity is based around a specific event or sport you will need to train around that. Typically most people will be able to start out with at least 20-30 mins at least 3 times per week. As you get better you can always increase it based on your needs.
How much aerobic activity you should do really depends on your current fitness level, exercise history, and goals. For general health benefits you should do 30 minutes of aerobic activity, 5-7 days of the week. This can include any type of activity that increases your heart rate and breathing rate such as walking your dog, dancing, mowing the lawn, running, biking, or even taking the stairs instead of the elevator. If you find that 30 minutes is a little too challenging, start with 5-10 minutes and gradually work up to 30 minutes. You could even choose to do three 10 minute exercise sessions throughout the day. Research has shown that performing three bouts of 10 minutes is just as effective as performing one 30 minute session.
If your goal is to improve your level of fitness you should perform 20-60 minutes of aerobic activity at a moderate to high intensity (between 60-90% maximum heart rate*) 3-5 day of the week.
*Maximum heart rate = 220 - age
Points to remember for aerobic exercise:
- Your aerobic activity should be in addition to routine activities of daily living (lighter activities that last less than 10 minutes).
- You can combine moderate and vigorous activity to meet your weekly goal. For example, some people might choose to walk briskly for 30 minutes two days a week and jog for 20 minutes the other two days.
- When doing moderate aerobic activity (equal to a brisk walk) you should work hard enough to break a sweat and raise your heart rate but still be able to carry on a conversation.
- A vigorous activity causes rapid breathing and a substantial increase in heart rate. Jogging is a good example of a vigorous activity.
- Exercise sessions lasting 10 or more minutes can be done and "added up" toward the 30-minute daily minimum.
- You may need 60 to 90 minutes of physical activity to lose weight, maintain weight loss or improve high density lipoprotein (HDL) (healthy) cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
The best recommendation is to get 30 minutes of moderate-intense activity most days of the week. Your goal should be to exercise in the form of strength and/or aerobic activity 3-4 times per week, more is desired. Another goal should be to make this activity continuous for 30 minutes or more to receive full benefit. If you are only able complete 15-20 minute bouts of exercise then this will be better than not completing any exercise at all. However, 30-minutes or more is preferred.
From the above, your next goal will be to figure out what you are using this aerobic activity for? Are you new to exercise? What is your specific goal? Answer these questions and let me know so I can assist you to develop a more direct plan for your needs.
Grant Cooper, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, answeredThe U.S. (United States) Surgeon General, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the American College of Sports Medicine all recommend that everyone should get a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity most days of the week. "Moderate" activity makes you breathe a little harder and your heart beat a little faster, but still allows you to talk comfortably while exercising; this is called the "talk test." The experts recommend that the 30 minutes of activity be done either all at once or divided into 10 - 15 minute periods.
A minimum of 30 minutes of aerobic activity is a good target, but I believe you should exercise for 30 minutes straight, if possible, rather than breaking it into shorter segments. There is good evidence that cholesterol in the arteries isn't broken down for energy before at least 20 minutes of continuous activity. Therefore, it makes sense that the 30 minutes should be performed at one time for optimal results. Of course, two segments of 15 minutes are better than no exercise at all.
Keep in mind that, as you progress with your exercises, you will need and want to gradually increase the intensity under the direction of your physician, physical therapist, and/or qualified trainer.
Find out more about this book:The Arthritis Handbook: Improve Your Health and Manage the Pain of Osteoarthritis (A DiaMedica Guide to Optimum Wellness)