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How often should I exercise?

No matter how busy a life you lead, I believe you should find time to fit in a regular exercise routine. You should be engaging in a physical activity at least thirty minutes or more at least three days a week that gets your heart rate up and makes you breathe a little harder. It doesn’t have to be overly strenuous and you don’t have to start training for a marathon or Olympic event. Whether it’s a structured class at a gym, power walking with friends in the morning, dancing or renting DVDs with the latest from fitness trainers, there are lots of options. Get creative and have fun with your activity.

Don’t make it a chore, and don’t make yourself miserable by doing something you hate. Exercise should be enjoyable—an outlet for stress rather than a trigger. Also bear in mind that many forms of exercise can involve your family and friends, which can be very motivating and offer an added benefit, especially psychologically.

Make today the day to at least do one thing (maybe two) more active than yesterday, and see if you can accumulate thirty minutes to an hour total of time spent getting your heart rate up. It’s totally up to you in what you choose to do, and can be as easy as tuning in to your favorite tunes on an iPod and hitting the neighborhood pavement for a fast-paced walk.

From The Mind-Beauty Connection: 9 Days to Less Stress, Gorgeous Skin, and a Whole New You by Amy Wechsler.

It is recommended to exercise 5 to 7 days per week. Each of those days should contain some type of cardiorespiratory performed at a moderate intensity. Two to three of those days should contain resistance training. In addition, each day should contain flexibility training. Set aside roughly an hour for each workout session.

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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.