In answer to the question “How much aerobic exercise is enough?” — Adults should get a MINIMUM of 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week. Or, you can opt for a MINIMUM of 1 hour and 15 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services. Intensity is dependent upon your heart rate and your age. The good old equation that works every time is to subtract YOUR age from 220. This gives you YOUR maximum heart rate. Next you would multiply that number times 60% to get your light intensity target heart rate, 70% to get your moderate target heart rate and 80% to get your maximum target heart rate. Or…you could just use a scale of perceived exertion and ask yourself “how hard am I working on a scale of 1-10?” Running would be intense, jogging or brisk walking, moderate and walking at a regular pace, light. Keep in mind this varies with how fit you already are. Of course, you could also use a fancy heart-rate monitor, an app on your smart phone, or a device like a Fit-Bit. Additionally, if you are looking to lose weight, remember that you will probably need and want to do more than the minimum.
While aerobic activity is the basis of a good exercise plan, we also must engage in some activities that strengthen our muscles and build our bone density. Lifting weights, doing push-ups, yoga, Pilates, using resistance bands and even doing squats and lunges will count towards this important aspect of our fitness.
Exercise—it’s not just medicine for your body, it’s the magic bullet to health and happiness. Get your fix today!