What is the minimum amount of exercise I should do to stay healthy?

The minimum amount of exercise needed to maintain your health is 150 minutes of moderate activity or exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous activity performed a week. Moderate exercise is activities that raise your heart rate and core temperature but allow you to talk and carry on short conversations. Vigorous exercise is of a high enough intensity that you cannot talk to another person except to give very short answers.

Great answer Todd!  It has to be answered as a whole.  The amount of exercise will be relative to your nutrition, anxiety and other factors.

Think of nutrition and exercise as a marriage.  One does not work well without the other.  I see two main problems in weight loss.

  1. People eat poorly and try to exercise it off
  2. People try and eat well and diet but do not exercise

Niether work!

Ideal amount of exercise in my book is around 1 hr of activity 5 times a week or more.  However I have seen people get by with 30 minutes of exercise / 3 times per week only if they are watching what their caloric intake is and are willing to lose weight at a slower pace.

Moderation is key, losing 1 lb per week is healthier long term than losing 3 lbs per week for most.  1 hour of exercise is good for most people but too much exercise can be harmful as well.  

Be moderate, be balanced and be consistent and the results will always come.  So the minimum is about 30 minutes / 3 times per week with good nutrition and the expectation of moderate results.

My advice is 1 hr / 5 times per week.  This will give you the ability to eat more food and the chances of being in a larger caloric balance allowing you to lose that 1 to 2 lbs of weight per week.

If your goal is to lose weight, 30 minutes might work if you watch how much you eat. If you are not watching your calories you would need to exercise either a little longer or add intensity to lose the weight.

Kelly Traver
Internal Medicine

You could get the very minimum amount of exercise you need each day by walking for a half hour. You should walk at a brisk clip for the exercise to be intense enough, and you really need to do it every day. It's okay if you miss a day here or there, but try to do it every day. That is the minimum we all need to do to begin to tap into the health benefits of exercise and see a reduction in disease. More exercise, however, will increase the benefits you reap.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.