The Secret Revealed - How Much Exercise Do You Really Need?
You might be wondering what a health article is doing on a consulting website. Well, remember that I'm all about helping you be the best version of you possible, so we'll throw in the occasional health and wellness advice to help make that happen. And remember that yours truly is not only a business guru that in addition to all kinds of academic and executive qualifications (Harvard and MIT ahem!) is also a certified fitness instructor and personal trainer.
Now that I've got the unnecessary bragging out of the way, back to the matter at hand; how much exercise do you need? The minimum amount of exercise you need is 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (for example walking, cycling, gardening, or swimming), and a minimum of two days of muscle-strengthening activities that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms).
150 minutes per week is about 22 minutes a day. This is the absolute minimum amount of exercise you should do. Or you could do 30 minutes five times a week. If you exercise more vigorously (for example running) then you require less exercise, about 75 minutes per week, in addition to the two strength training sessions per week. Basically, the more vigorous the exercise, the less you need to do.
Look, life is not just how you live, it's also how you die. Healthy and fit people live a long and productive life, and then die quickly. They fall of a cliff as it were.
Unfit and unhealthy people might spend the last 20 years of their life dying very slowly. Do you want the golden years of your life spent in and out of hospital, popping all kinds of pills, wishing you had taken better care of yourself? Do you want to have the energy to enjoy and play with your grandkids?
To be honest, it's not just the late years of your life you're wasting, you're wasting the enjoyment of your life today. There are so many people in their twenties and thirties already suffering from heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and don't even get me started on cancer! Why all this suffering? Because of a stubborn refusal to exercise?
Look, either way you're going to have to pay. Better pay now by taking some time to take care of your health and fitness, than pay a lot more later in life through long-term suffering and misery. You have to choose between two pains, the pain of discipline now, or the pain of regret later in life.
Want to be happy? Then dig up those old running shoes and get to work!