How much exercise do I need?

How much exercise you should be getting depends on several factors, including your current level of fitness, your fitness goals, the types of exercise you’re planning to do, and whether you have deficits in such areas as strength,

flexibility or balance.

As a general rule, 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity (or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise) is recommended as a weekly minimum. As you become more fit, you’ll want to exceed that in order to reap maximum benefit. A natural way of splitting up the 150 minutes might be to do a 30-minute session five times per week, or you can break it up and do two 15-minute sessions during a single day. Adopt whatever schedule fits your lifestyle.

For strength exercises, aim to work all your major muscle groups twice to three times each week, leaving 48 hours between each workout for recovery. If you do “total-body” workouts, that’s two sessions per week. If you choose to split your workouts to target a specific muscle group (e.g., “leg day”), that will require more frequent workouts. Just make sure you’re leaving 48 hours of rest before you re-work a major muscle.

If you have noticed problems with your balance, such as unsteadiness, dizziness, or vertigo, talk to a healthcare provider for recommendations about balance-specific exercises. Get in three half-hour workouts each week in addition to a 30-minute walk at least twice weekly.

It’s best to stretch after you have warmed up for a few minutes, or perform stretching exercises after you completed your workout. When stretching each muscle group, take it slow and steady, release, repeat again.

But how much exercise is too much? You should expect a little muscle soreness after workouts, especially in the beginning. But if you find that your body is simply not recovering between workouts, you may be overtraining.

Remember that seniors need more recovery time than younger people. With the exception of “welcome” muscle soreness, an exercise program should make you feel good. If it doesn’t, you’re probably overdoing it. That doesn’t mean you should quit, only that you should dial back the intensity or frequency of your workouts until you hit the “sweet spot” in which you’ve “tired out” your body but then recovered enough to tackle your next session with enthusiasm.

Thanks To:
Harvard Health Publishing

Posted in Articles, Wellness & Exercise.

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