Let’s cut straight to the chase: if you knew there was a minimum amount of exercise you could do to lose weight, maintain your weight, or just be healthy, you’d want to know the magic number, right? Just so you know you’ve ticked that box, and that anything more you do is extra.
Thankfully, such a number exists. According to Greatist, the American Heart Association, the American College of Sports Medicine, and other health organisations agree that 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise, or 75 minutes of more intense cardio, in addition to two sessions of full-body strength training, is enough to get you by a week.
If you want to break that down, that could mean five 30-minute sessions of moderate cardio (brisk walking, for example) teamed with full-body strength training, or five 15-minute high-intensity interval training (HIIT) sessions. As long as you’re fulfilling the minimum amount of time, you should be able to maintain your weight, at the very least.
In terms of the strength training portion, which involves using weights, there’s no guide for the amount of time that should be spent on those workouts, and unfortunately they don’t count towards the 150 minutes of moderate cardio, or 75 minutes of intense cardio. What’s important is making sure the exercises focus on different areas—arms, legs, core… you know the drill.
It’s also worth noting that weight loss is much more about what you’re putting into your body than what you’re doing with it. It’s no secret that successful weight loss is 80 percent diet, 20 percent exercise, so even if you’re working out for the recommended amount but are still making poor food choices, you’re less likely to see results. They don’t say “eat less, move more” for nothing.
And really, the secret for being healthy isn’t actually a secret: watch what you’re eating, and make sure you’re moving. Trick your body into doing more incidental exercise, like taking the stairs, or walking home from work. And swap your afternoon chocolate bar for fruit.
See? Not so hard.
Via Harper's Bazaar Australia