By: Matt Weik, BS, CSCS, CPT, CSN
Simply saying the word “exercise” in front of the wrong person is like dropping the f-bomb in church. People either agree that exercise is necessary, or they avoid it like the plague. The goal of this article isn’t to sway you one way or the other — it’s merely a means of explaining how much (or little) exercise you would need per week to see health benefits, should you decide to engage in physical activity.
The main issue that most people have with exercise is that it’s work. Unfortunately, there is no pill you can swallow or magic powder that, when consumed, will provide you with all of the health benefits of exercise without ever needing to leave your couch. If you can figure out how to do that, you’ll be extremely wealthy.
Circling back to the work aspect of exercise, what many people don’t fully understand or realize is that you don’t need to work out for hours in order to see health benefits from your efforts.
Health Benefits from Exercise
It should come without saying, but many health benefits come along with exercise. What’s even better is that you don’t need to slave over the treadmill or push a ton of weight to see these benefits.
- Reduce body fat
- Increase lean muscle mass
- Reduce the risk of illness and disease
- Lower blood pressure
- Improve blood profile
- Naturally boost energy levels
- Improve heart health
- Increase lung capacity
- Improve endurance
- Improve strength
- Reduce cholesterol levels
- Improve health and longevity
- Help maintain your independence
- Reduce the risk of osteoporosis
- Improve sleep quality
- Help improve confidence
- Make everyday tasks easier
- Aid in reducing stress
- And much MORE!
You Don’t Need to Quit Your Job to Find the Time
If you were to take a stab in the dark and give a wild guess what the number one excuse people give for not exercising is, what do you think it would be? If you said, “I don’t have time to exercise,” you would be correct.
The issue with this statement is that it’s inaccurate. It’s not that people don’t have time, it’s more of an issue that they aren’t making their health a priority. They would much rather spend five hours a day/night watching television and Netflix than 30 minutes improving their health through exercise.
Let’s think about things for a minute. 30 minutes of exercise is only 2% of your day. You probably spend double that amount of time scrolling through your social media, looking at worthless information about people you don’t even know. So again, it comes down to your priorities. Time, however, is not a valid reason why you can’t exercise to achieve health benefits.
How much do you really need to exercise per week to see health benefits? Only 150 minutes. That’s it! 150 minutes in the grand scheme of things, is not a lot – it’s only 2.5 hours a week. If you were to break it down, you’d only need to do 30 minutes of exercise, five days a week. That’s extremely doable without inconveniencing your day and schedule. If you prefer to go hard and heavy, it’s recommended that you do 75 minutes of vigorous activity (such as running/sprints or HIIT training) per week. You could even combine both if you wanted to change things up day-to-day and keep your workouts fresh and exciting.
Recommendations and Research
You don’t need to take my word on the above — there are plenty of recommendations and research from experts who will confirm and say the same.
The CDC has made it clear that they recommend all adults engage in a minimum of 150 minutes of aerobic exercise each week for health benefits. In addition to the aerobic portion, they also recommend that you do two days of weight training.
Another group that has voiced their opinion and suggestion on the subject is the American Heart Association. They, too, published that they recommend all adults engage in 150 minutes of physical activity each week.
Harvard also chimed in on the topic and mentioned that people exercise for a few reasons, such as for health, for competition, for appearance, for work, or for recreation. What you would want to do is figure out your reasoning and make it a priority. You’ll be more willing to continue each week with an exercise program if you have a goal and reason for putting in the time and effort.
Doing a little more research into how long you need to exercise per week to see health benefits, the Mayo Clinic also recommends that adults should focus on hitting 150 minutes of aerobic activity each week along with two days of strength training.
But wait… there’s some even better news.
Do You Have 10 Minutes?
Want the best news out of everything covered thus far? Here it is… you don’t need to do all 30 minutes at once. Wait, what? It’s true. Regardless of if you feel you don’t have enough time to hit all 30 minutes at once or you aren’t physically fit enough to do so, you can start small and spread it out throughout the day.
For instance, rather than walking for 30 minutes each day after dinner (as an example), you can do 10 minutes of exercise, three separate times in a 24-hour period. That’s great news, and you still get all of the health benefits associated with exercise.
Whether you decide to go for 30+ minutes or only 10, here are a few ideas that you can utilize to get your heart rate up and reap the health benefits.
- Take your dog for a walk
- Go for a hike
- Play a pick-up game of basketball
- Play tennis with a friend or spouse
- Ride a bicycle
- Swim or walk laps in a pool
- Mow the grass using a push mower
The take-home message is that with as little as 10 minutes here and there, you can improve your health and see some drastic health benefits in the long term. No longer is there an excuse as to why you can’t find time to exercise. You can fit in 10 minutes during a lunch break, after dinner with the family, or anytime you have downtime.
If you want to improve your health, get active. Make it a priority and find what motivates you to get up and move more. Set goals, and each day, make it a point to work towards getting closer to achieving what you set out to accomplish. Remember, no one is going to do the work for you, and no one is going to want to see you achieve your goals more than you. Stay motivated and dedicated, and you’ll make great strides toward achieving many health benefits from your efforts.
How About Some Exercise in a Bottle?
It’s not often you can find in your possession a genie in a bottle. Or, in this case, exercise in a bottle.
MuscleSport CarniShred is unlike any L-Carnitine supplement out there. Not only does CarniShred contain two forms of L-Carnitine (L-Carnitine Tartrate and L-Carnitine Fumarate), but it also contains potent and patented ingredients like Paradoxine®, CapsiAtra®, and Lean GBB®.
If you want to take your workouts to new heights and experience mind-blowing results, MuscleSport CarniShred can help increase your energy levels, improve fat metabolism, and helps you burn more calories throughout the day by being a potent thermogenic.
Best of all, CarniShred contains no stimulants and, therefore, can be used any time of day and even stacked with other pre-workout and thermogenic supplements.