So how much exercise do you really need every day?
Daily exercise is funny. It’s way too easy to think you’re not doing enough.
But when you push it too hard, it can feel like you’re doing too much. The constant second-guessing isn’t much fun.
It’s annoying and no one likes it.
So here’s a quick guide to teach you how much daily exercise you need, what counts as exercise, and how to find movement goals you can actually stick to.
How much exercise do you need every day?
The average adult needs at least 22 minutes of physical activity per day with at least 2 days a week that include muscle strengthening activity.
CDC guidelines for average adults recommend at least:
- 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity.
- 2 days a week that include muscle strengthening activities.
150 minutes per week divided by 7 days means at least 22 minutes of exercise every day.
So now that you know how much you need, you’re probably wondering what counts as exercise? Great question…
Before you can figure out what counts as exercise and understand exercise types, you need a refresher on what exercise is.
Revisiting the definition of exercise will help you forget some of the misleading definitions portrayed in mainstream fitness, and help you find a more manageable and personal definition of your own.
What is exercise?
Exercise is any physical activity that promotes and maintains overall strength, health, and wellness. Exercise is done for reasons like improving cardio, strengthening important muscle groups, sporting competition, or leisure.
What counts as exercise and physical activity?
The “fitness” you see in mainstream advertising is a limited portrait of what fitness and physical activity can include.
Sure, fancy equipment, expensive workout gear, and gyms that look straight out of a sci-fi movie are part of fitness. But that’s not what ALL fitness looks like.
Remember: exercise is any physical activity that promotes and maintains overall strength, health and wellness.
With this definition in mind, exercise and activity can mean so much more…
Some examples of low to moderate physical activity include:
- Mowing the lawn
- Some quick squats during a work break
- Dancing to your favorite song
- Shoveling snow
- Video games that use motion controls
- Chores like sweeping or vacuuming the whole house
- Some push-ups when you wake up
- Brisk walking
- Taking the stairs instead of the elevator
- Team sports
- Hiking your favorite trail
- Certain home improvement projects
- Planking while you watch TV
- Parking further away from the entrance and walking
Some examples of muscle strengthening activities include:
- Some light weight training (dumbbells, kettle bells, a can of soup, or a watermelon all work. Feel free to get creative)
- Resistance band exercises
- Exercises that use your own body weight like crunches, push-ups and squats
- Some types of yoga
How to get enough daily exercise
Getting 22 minutes or more of exercise every day doesn’t have to be hard. Here’s 5 simple ways to integrate your daily exercise without breaking your schedule.
Take sit breaks
The truth is, you might be sitting too much... A simple way to start moving more is to be more sit-concious.
Take breaks every hour and do some exercises to counteract the effects of sitting.
You’ll not only get a good chunk of your daily exercise, you’ll also help your body avoid the effects of sitting all day.
Walking counts as exercise. It’s also one of the easiest exercises to slide into your daily schedule. So do it more often.
If you’re able, walk to the store, park further from the entrance, walk with friends, or walk in nature. Any walking is good walking, so don’t forget about it when you’re looking for an easy way to get your daily exercise.
Hot tip: Track your steps with a pedometer app to know exactly how much you’re walking and how it impacts your weekly fitness goals.
Gamify your fitness
Gamified fitness is one of the most effective ways to turn fitness into a healthy habit.
Using a gamified fitness app will help you track your reps automatically, count your steps, keep streaks going, and challenge you to add more movement to your day.
It’s the perfect recipe for getting all the fitness you need every day.
Make it a hobby
Quick exercise at home is essential if you want to get the recommended daily amount. But fitness can be an extension of a fun hobby as well.
Sports or running, walking and jogging groups make fitness social. Even hobbies like mushroom hunting, birding, nature photography or gardening all have some forms of exercise built right in.
Don’t hesitate to explore new activities that get you out into new fields of interest. Your recommended daily fitness will add up quickly when you’re having fun!
The everyday way
Now that you know how much exercise you need every day, get creative with how you achieve your goals.
Just 22 minutes a day is the perfect place to start your fitness journey. As you add more activities to your beginner fitness plan, you’ll grow it without even knowing it.
Everyday starts today!