Knowing how much exercise you need each day is only half of the equation. You also have to know which type of activity you need. Exercise is broken down into two types of energy systems: aerobic and anaerobic, or cardio and strength training, respectively.
Exercise activities falling under this category are further broken down by intensity into moderate and vigorous. Moderate includes brisk walking, running (at a slow jogging pace), swimming, mowing the lawn, etc.; aerobic exercises get your heart rate up and can be performed for a long period of time. You should break a sweat, but still be able to talk while doing them.
Vigorous exercise includes such things as marathon running, long distance cycling and lap swimming. They get your heart rate up into the 70% to 80% of your target heart rate (220 minus your age). While doing activities at this intensity level, you are sweating more, breathing harder and you won’t be able to say more than a few words at a time.
These include strength training activities like weightlifting or heavy kettle bell swings. Anaerobic exercises can only be performed for a short period of time due to the body not being able to produce enough energy to last longer than from a few seconds to three minutes.
To reap the most benefits from anaerobic, you should reach a point where it is hard to do the next repetition. Once you can do 12 to 15 repetitions per set, increase the amount of weight; your repetitions per set will then drop accordingly.
How Much Time Do You Need?
Most experts agree you should aim to get at least 30 minutes of exercise, or some type of physical activity, six days a week. This is further broken down into 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise spread over four days per week. Alternate in at least two days per week of anaerobic exercise that works all of the major muscle groups, such as the:
Give your body time to rest and repair itself on the seventh day.
Exercise Session Duration
Many busy working professionals have a hard time finding a 30-minute chunk of time each day to exercise. However, what various studies have found is that three 10-minute periods of exercising per day is just as beneficial as one 30-minute period. For instance, you could go for a brisk walk in the morning, at noon and again in the evening; the health benefit is the same as walking briskly for one 30-minute period. Almost everyone can find a few 10 minute periods in their schedule each day.
For even more health benefits, keep the same intensity level, but double your weekly aerobic activity to 300 minutes. Another option, as you get more fit, is to gradually change out some of your moderate intensity level exercises for more vigorous ones.
Why You Must Make Exercise A Priority
If you are serious about your health and fitness plans, you definitely must make exercise a priority to accomplish your goals. Did you know that the human brain will always cause you to move toward your most dominant thought? This is why a simple thought can create such incredible results in your life, and in the world around us. This is also why when you make exercise a top priority in your life, your desired results come quicker, and they are easier to maintain over time.
Human beings are intrinsically lazy, but crave direction and order. This is why scheduling activities leads to a much higher success rate in anything that you do. And when you habitually do things over and over at the same time on the same day, it is hard to get out of that rhythm. Also, often time in our lives we get better results when we insist on them.
Here are a few simple ways to make exercise a priority in your life, setting up an autopilot delivery of the benefits that exercise delivers:
Schedule Your Exercises
There are a reason that calendars and day planners are literally a billion dollar a year business. People do more things that are written down and scheduled than they do as a matter of impulse. Scheduling your exercise regimen on a daily, weekly and monthly basis where you must refer to it and hold yourself accountable will instantly program your mind and body for the desired physical and mental preparation before the scheduled exercise.
Make Exercise a Habit
Did you realize that human beings will unconsciously make a habit out of anything they do for a given period of consecutive days or sessions? Multiple scientific studies have shown that repeating the same behavior or action, on the same schedule, at the same time 17 to 21 times switches an activity from the conscious mind to the unconscious, where actions are automatic, and not a choice.
Make exercise a priority at the same time and stick to that schedule religiously, and you will find soon enough that it is virtually impossible to miss a workout.
Do Not Take No for an Answer
If you decide that you are going to exercise no matter what set of obstacles gets in your way, you will definitely accomplish your weight loss, health and fitness goals. Human beings are constantly achieving levels of performance which were previously considered impossible. And you can do the same when you simply refuse to put exercising on a back burner.
The human brain is the most powerful and capable computer of all time. When you schedule exercise at the same time, achieve 17 to 21 consecutive exercise sessions and develop the unwavering mindset that exercise is a top priority in your life, you may be surprised at how easy it is to achieve your health and fitness goals.
If you’re not very active when you start out with your exercise workout routine, it would be a good idea to read 15 Minute Fitness Tip #6 “Exercise Tips for Those Who Live a Sedentary Lifestyle” for a good place to start.