How much exercise is enough?

One of the more abundant questions I receive as an exercise physiologist is ‘how much exercise do I need to do?’. Unfortunately, there is no simple answer.

The World Health Organisation set a standard which they suggest the average adult should achieve:

  • At least 150–300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity;
  • Or at least 75–150 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity; or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity activity throughout the week

But that doesn’t mean much to you, does it? That’s where the difficulty of this situation comes in to play. To truly determine how much exercise you should be doing, we need to know a fair bit about you, including:

  • Do you currently exercise?
  • Have you had a history of participating in exercise?
  • How much of your day is spend being sedentary?
  • Do you have any health concerns?
  • What type of exercise are you interested in doing?

From here, we will put together an exercise plan that is tailored to your life and your needs. It may look something along the lines of this:

  • Sunday – 30-minute walk
  • Monday – rest
  • Tuesday – Strength exercises (given by your exercise physiologist)
  • Wednesday – 30-minute walk
  • Thursday – rest
  • Friday – Strength exercises / 30 minute walk (your choice)

The task isn’t finished there, providing the plan set goes to plan and you are happy with how it is all going, we then start progressing the exercises. This is done by increasing resistance, or adding in intensity, or increasing frequency of exercise.

Most importantly, if you feel stuck with your exercise journey please seek advice from an exercise physiologist, we’d love to help!