Different exercise frequencies for different exercise goals
How much exercise is the right amount? The answer isn’t black and white. It depends on your goals, your current habits, your age and your weight, among other factors. Of course everyone needs exercise, and even brisk walking for 10-15 minutes a few times a week can have a positive effect on your mind and body. Moderate amounts of physical activity two or three times per week can lower your risk of health conditions, prevent natural loss of muscle mass, and help prevent weight gain, especially as you age.
For lowering your blood sugar
For those with high blood sugar or diabetes, exercise is instrumental in helping you maintain or reduce your sugar levels. To achieve this, moderate exercise is recommended at least three days a week for about 30 minutes each day. When you exercise your heart beats faster, you breathe harder, and your muscles use more glucose (the sugar in your blood stream). When you participate in moderate exercise consistently, you will help lower your blood sugar levels and improve how the insulin in your body works. Moderate exercise can include swimming, cycling, yoga or a brisk walk.
For lowering your cholesterol
In order to improve your cholesterol levels, the American Heart Association (AHA) suggests around 40 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic activity three to four times a week. To achieve overall cardiovascular health, the AHA recommends 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week. For optimal results, it’s best to mix moderate and vigorous activity throughout the week.
For building strength
If you’re looking to bulk up (build muscle), you’ll want to practice strength training exercises at least two times a week, targeting all major muscle groups. Each exercise should be repeated 3 times, with no less than eight reps and no more than 15.
For losing weight
If you want to lose weight, the US Department of Health & Human Services recommends 30 minutes of exercise five days a week, with a mix of moderate to vigorous physical activity. To maximize the effectiveness of your workouts, it’s best to alternate between aerobic and strength training. It’s important to note, the amount of exercise needed also depends on how much you weigh.
No matter what your end-goals are, it’s important to make some level of physical activity a part of your daily life. Of course, consistent physical activity can only take you so far if you’re not putting equally as much time and energy into the foods you put into your body. Regardless of whether you want to lose weight, lower your blood sugar, or just lead an overall healthy lifestyle, exercise cannot get you where you want to be without maintaining a healthy diet.
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