We all know that exercise is important and provides countless health benefits, but how much exercise do we need to stay healthy and see improvement in our physical conditions?
The health consequences of sitting are shocking, and most Americans sit a lot so it’s immensely important that we follow a regular exercise routine to counteract all of the sitting.
“A minimum of three days per week, for a structured exercise program. Technically, you should do something every day, and by something I mean physical activity — just move. Because we’re finding more and more that the act of sitting counteracts any of the activity you do.”
Shawn Arent, Exercise Scientist, Rutgers University
While any exercise is better than no exercise, research shows a major split between exercising two days per week and exercising three days per week (ACSM). While exercising two days per week may bring minor gains, exercising three days per week will bring significant gains early on in an exercising regiment, and you should progress beyond that as you are able.
To see gains, resistance training should be performed 2-5 days per week depending on your fitness level. We see gains in children and older adults exercising two days per week early in an exercise regiment, but they should still be progressed quickly. Most adults should perform resistance training no less than three times per week.
In addition to exercise, there are benefits in reducing sedentary time. There is great benefit in interspersing short bouts of standing or walking throughout the day.
To gain full benefits from an exercise regiment, exercise should be enjoyable and supervised by a certified trainer or health professional. Hiring a trainer will not only help you to enjoy greater gains, but will also reduce the risk of injury and provide extra motivation.