To cultivate a good heart and lower your risks of health complications now and in the future, doctors and fitness experts recommend you exercise regularly. But this statement can lead to some unanswered questions. Namely, how much should you exercise, and what types of exercise should you do? This article aims to provide an answer to these questions. Read on to learn more about the recommended dose of exercise you should be getting each day.
The straightforward and simplified answer is that you should be doing cardio exercise (for example, running or jogging, biking, swimming or playing tennis) at least 4 times a week for at least 30 minutes each day. This means that if you belong to a gym, you should be there for probably an hour each day when you add in warn-up time, cool-down time and stretching. If you want to keep muscles toned, add in at least 1 day per week of strength training.
But there are some variations to this answer that you may want to consider. First of all, do you need to lose weight? To check the numbers, talk with your doctor or search online for a BMI (Body Mass Index) calculator. After you enter in all of your information (gender, height, age, weight, etc.), your BMI will either be too low, too high or “good.” If it’s good, you have nothing to worry about in terms of weight loss unless you want to lose vanity pounds or tone up. Keep doing cardio, stretching and some strength training to maintain your current weight and muscle tone.
If, however, your BMI is too high, and you need to lose a few pounds, you’ll want to amp up your exercise. This will vary person to person. The goal of exercise in weight loss is to expend calories, so the more calories you burn off with exercise the faster you’ll lose weight. Talk to your doctor about your weight loss and fitness goals, and make a weekly plan that will help you get in shape and stay there.