This is a question I get a lot and my answer of “it depends” leaves a lot of people a little disappointed because they are looking for a quick answer.
Why it depends?
How much exercise a person needs ranges none to +60 minutes per day and the amount depends on a number of factors. The following is a guide to help you determine how much exercise you should be doing based on some variables.
Do you smoke? If you do, it’s time to start exercising about 20-30 minutes a day. This will not cut the risks associated with smoking but it will help to slow the decline of your body. Make no mistake about it, smoking is killing you and it is ruining your health.
Have you maintained your weight over the last few years? If you have, your need for exercise is low – about 5 minutes per day – and is aimed at maintaining your cardiovascular health. Your goal will be to increase you heart rate in response to movement.
Do you want to decrease your weight? If you do, you should be exercising 30-60 minutes per day. The more you do, the faster you will see the weight drop, but 30 – 60 minutes of exercise should be enough to help anyone jump start their weight loss efforts.
Do you tire easily or have low energy? If you do, you need to do 20-30 minutes of moderately intense exercise per day to increase your cardiovascular health. A healthier heart and lungs will allow your body to deliver blood more efficiently increasing your energy levels.
Do you have any specific training requirements? If you do, you need to exercise enough to address these needs but not so much as to become over trained. This occurs when your body does not have enough resources to recover from the last bout of exercise. The most common cause of over training is too much exercise, but it can also be caused by not eating enough.
There are very few people who would not benefit from exercising a little more. Determine the amount you need and do it every day. It is going to improve the quality of your life.