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How Much Exercise Do You Need Each Week?

Understanding how much exercise you need each week is crucial for achieving your fitness goals, whether it’s weight loss, muscle gain, or overall health. Customizing your workouts to fit your objectives is essential for seeing results.

How Much Exercise Do You Need

Weekly exercise guidelines

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), adults aged 18–64 should aim for:

  • Moderate-intensity aerobic activity: At least 150 minutes per week. Activities like brisk walking, cycling, or swimming raise your heart rate and make you breathe faster, but you should still be able to talk.
  • Vigorous-intensity aerobic activity: Alternatively, 75 minutes per week. Activities such as running, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), or intense cycling significantly increase your heart rate and breathing.

Types of exercise

  • Moderate-Intensity Activities: Include brisk walking, cycling, or swimming. These are great for improving cardiovascular health and can be easily incorporated into daily routines.
  • Vigorous-Intensity Activities: Include running, HIIT workouts, or intense cycling. These exercises provide a more intense workout in a shorter amount of time, helping to boost fitness levels quickly.

Frequency and duration

  • Moderate exercise: Aim for about 30 minutes on most days of the week. This consistent effort helps maintain overall health and fitness.
  • Vigorous exercise: Engage in 15 minutes most days of the week. This shorter duration can be just as beneficial if done with higher intensity.

Muscle-strengthening activities

Incorporate major muscle groups: On two or more days per week, include weightlifting, resistance band exercises, or bodyweight exercises like push-ups and squats.

These activities help build and maintain muscle mass, essential for overall health.

Flexibility and balance

Flexibility exercises: Activities like yoga or tai chi improve flexibility and balance, enhancing physical performance and reducing the risk of falls.

Aim to include flexibility and balance exercises regularly.

Incremental progression

Gradually increase intensity and duration: As your fitness level improves, progressively challenge yourself by increasing the intensity or duration of your workouts.

Listening to your body is crucial to avoid overexertion or injury.

Adapt your schedule

Shorter sessions: If time is limited, break up exercise into shorter sessions throughout the day.

Small changes, like taking the stairs instead of the elevator or going for a walk during lunch breaks, can add up to significant health benefits.

Consultation with professionals

Consult with a healthcare professional: Before starting any new exercise regimen, especially if you have underlying health conditions, seek advice from a healthcare professional. They can provide personalized recommendations to ensure your exercise plan aligns with your health needs and goals.

Enjoyment and consistency

Find enjoyable activities: Choose exercises you enjoy and make them a regular part of your routine.

Enjoyable activities are easier to stick with, helping you maintain a healthy and active lifestyle over the long term.


In summary, aim to meet the recommended weekly exercise guidelines through a combination of aerobic, muscle-strengthening, and flexibility exercises, adapting them to your individual needs and preferences.

Consistency and enjoyment are key to maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle.

Frequently asked questions

How much exercise do you need each week?

The WHO recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity per week.

What types of exercises should I include?

Incorporate a mix of moderate and vigorous-intensity activities, muscle-strengthening exercises, and flexibility and balance workouts.

How can I make exercise a regular part of my routine?

Find activities you enjoy, create a consistent schedule, and consider breaking up exercise into shorter sessions if time is limited.

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