How long should the average adult exercise each day?

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Many people in America need to spend more time exercising. But can anyone be exercising too much? The Department of Health and Human Services recommends that you lift weights twice a week and have either 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of intense aerobic activity per week. As a general goal they recommend aiming for 30 minutes of exercise per day with a higher goal of 300 minutes per week.
According the the Department of Agriculture they recommend 30 minutes of exercise per day. However, their viewpoint conflicts because they say that certain people may need up to 90 minutes of exercise per day to keep from gaining weight.
On another hand, the Institute of Medicine recommended that we should all engage in 60 minutes of daily vigorous activity. Comparing this to the observation made by the Department of Health and Human services, they recommend almost six times as much vigorous exercise per week. I tried to evaluate the accuracy of these articles by looking at the sources in which they claim to be from. I think that because the first two articles agree on the 30 minutes of exercise per day mark you can rule out the Institute of Medicine's finding that claims we need 60 minutes of vigorous exercise per week.
Overall, I found no evidence claiming that you can exercise too much per week. The minimum amount you should exercise in one week if you want to be fit should be 30 minutes per day.

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Thanks for sharing. I think most of us seem to have the opposite problem-- we would like to exercise longer, but we have no time! It's interesting to me that there was no published literature on what is considered "too much" exercise. It's obvious that we can overwork our bodies, but perhaps there's no defined maximum that applies to everyone.

I definitely agree with you on the first part. I think the reason that they don't give a maximum is because as long as your body is getting all of the nutrients it need it can probably handle a large amount of exercise.

Regardless of the research that comes out about exercise, it always bugs me because the truth is that each person needs different amounts of exercise depending on their body size, health background, etc. Something like this can't and shouldn't be standardized. It's just like medication - the same amount won't work for each person.

IT would be cool if someone researched a couple of specific variables in relation to the amount of exercise someone gets. For example, by studying the heart health of two individuals with similar blood pressure and other extraneous health concerns,perhaps scientists could measure the benefit of exercise (in different time intervals) on heart health.
Then knowing our own health conditions this information could be better applied and used in our daily lives.

I think the fact that the amount of minutes per day that one needs to exercise to stay "fit" is different because there are so many different people with different body types and different metabolisms that will respond differently to exercise. While some may only need 30 minutes a day to be fit, others who might be more obese will need to work a bit harder to achieve the "fit" body type that is recommended and needed to stay healthy. It's different for different individuals.

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This page contains a single entry by cherr078 published on February 7, 2012 10:51 PM.

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