How Much Exercise Do We Really Need?

Have you ever wondered to yourself just what you had to do to get that amazing body you see that celebrities have? Or wonder if the little exercise you’re getting is enough? It depends on who you ask. For example, many people will tell you of different amounts of time you should dedicate to exercise during the day. But is there a limit of time you should spend exercising?

The short version is: yes, there is a specific amount of time in which you have to exercise. While it’s not exactly short (no laziness allowed here), it is easy to manage.

According to the Singapore Health Promotion Board, an average person should get a total of 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise per week. In addition to that, one should add 20 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercising to the mix.

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So, what exactly is aerobic exercise? Well, in layman’s term, aerobic (cardio) exercise is anything that keeps your whole body active and works up a good sweat. We’re talking about activities such as jogging, swimming or cycling for example. These activities make sure to train every part of your body and help with weight loss as well as increasing your body’s endurance. They’re also the ones attributed with helping our health the most.

150 Minutes of moderate aerobic activity could comprise of walking (preferably briskly walking), dancing or other activities that can work up a good sweat but doesn’t keep you from talking or focusing on other things. Vigorous activity, on the other hand, is your running, swimming or activities that push your body and make you have to concentrate on not losing your strength (you may think you’re dying…haha).

So now we know what that 150 minutes and 20 minutes respectively mean. Now if only that were the only exercise we needed, well, we’d all be supermodels now, wouldn’t we?

Unfortunately, all those calculations don’t include strength training into the mix. Strength training are routines that focus on specific muscles and are more about strengthening or toning those sets of muscles. These are your push-ups, pull-ups and squats amongst others.

All of these exercises are the very basic level of strength, flexibility and cardiopulmonary (heart) of activity that the body needs in order to help reduce the risk of heart and lung disease. Doctors, such as sports and medicine physician Jordan Meltz M.D., also support this idea and attribute good health to being able to keep up with them.

But let’s be real, the first thing we think of when we realise that we have to exercise is how much of a hassle it can be, especially if you have to put so much time into it. Thankfully, as stated before, the timeframe for them is pretty manageable.

For example, simply do 30 or so minutes of cardio (mixing up moderate and vigorous) for at least three days a week, with some strength training to finish off the weekends. If your daily life keeps you physically active, then you might already be getting the exercise you need. You don’t even need to go to a gym to do strength training  – get some weights or your own body weight. Just make sure to not overdo it.

It’s still for us to be able to keep it up, however, just because you can manage it as you see fit it doesn’t mean you can just laze around either. Both exercise and healthy eating make up an important part in keeping us healthy so you better not slack off.


Photo Credits: The Cody Blog, Fitness Goals

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