Activity Guide

by | Feb 12, 2017

Source - Mayo Clinic

Article : How much should the average adult exercise every day?

For most adults the Department of Health and Human Services recommends spreading workouts out over each week. They recommend :

  • Aerobic activity
    • 150 Minutes of Moderate Activity (walking , swimming, mowing the lawn)
    • 75 Minutes of Vigorous Activity (running and aerobic dancing)
    • Or a Combination of Moderate and Vigorous
  • Strength Training
    • All major muscle groups at least twice per week.
    • Aim for a single set of each exercise
    • Use a weight or resistance that tires your muscles in 12-15 repetitions.
    • Can include weights, resistance, body weight, rock climbing

Aim for 30 minutes everyday. The time can be broken into 2 15-minute sessions or 3 10-minute sessions. For even more benefit try to increase to 300 minutes per week. Also reduce sitting time.

Harvard T.H.Chan School of Public Health

Article : Physical activity guidelines: How much exercise do you need?

2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends that adults get a minimum of 2.5 hours a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity. But some people will need more. If you already exercise about 30 minutes each day, then this time may need to be increased to encourage weight loss. Conversely, if you are not exercising each day, 30 minutes may be the correct amount.
Exercise Intensity:

  • Moderate-intensity aerobic activity is any activity that causes a slight but noticeable increase in breathing and heart rate. One way to gauge moderate activity is with the “talk test”—exercising hard enough to break a sweat but not so hard you can’t comfortably carry on a conversation.
  • Vigorous-intensity aerobic activity causes more rapid breathing and a greater increase in heart rate, but you should still be able to carry on a conversation—with shorter sentences.
  • Aerobic activity
    • 2 Hours and 30 Minutes of Moderate Activity
    • Or 1 Hour and 15 Minutes of Vigorous Activity
    • Or a Combination of Moderate and Vigorous
  • Strength Training
    • Increases lean body mass, decreases fat mass and increases resting metabolic rate (a measurement of the amount of calories burned each day).
    • Aim for at least 2 days a week
    • One of the most beneficial components of a fitness program
  • Flexibility Training
    • Includes Stretching exercise
    • Major muscle and Tendon groups should be stretched 2-3 days per week.
    • Sessions should last about 10 minutes
Source - ChooseMyPlate
Source - ChooseMyPlate



For most adults (18-64 years of age) the site recommends spreading aerobic workouts out over at least 3 days each week. Strength workouts should be completed at least 2 days a week.
They recommend :

  • Aerobic activity
    • 2 hours 30 Minutes of Moderate Activity
      • Walking at about 3.5 miles/hour
      • Bicycling at less than 10 miles per hours
      • General gardening
      • Dancing
      • Golf (walking and carrying own clubs)
      • Water Aerobics
      • Canoeing
      • Tennis (doubles)
    • 1 Hour and 15 Minutes of Vigorous Activity
      • Running or Jogging (5 miles an hour or faster)
      • Walking very quickly (more than 4.5 miles per hour)
      • Bicycling (more than 10 miles per hour)
      • Heavy Yard Work (chopping wood)
      • Swimming freestyle laps
      • Aerobics
      • Basketball (competitive)
      • Tennis (singles)
    • Or a Combination of Moderate and Vigorous
  • Strength Training
    • Could include weights, sit ups or push ups

Activity should be at least 10 minutes in length and should increase your heart rate to considered useful. When walking casually or shopping the activity may not count towards the total.

Source - WebMD

Article : Your Exercise Routine: How Much Is Enough?

The bigger Americans get the longer the they need to be physically active. While most Americans need to increase their exercise to 30 minutes EVERY day, others will need to do even more: 45, 60 or even 90 minutes to see weight loss and maintenance.

Energy Imbalance – When more calories are consumed than expended.

  • 30 Minutes is where it begins. Start with 30 minutes everyday and see where you get to. If you are still gaining weight or hit a plateau, add 15 minutes a day and wait a week to see if it was enough.
  • Effects of activity are cumulative. “Like loose change in your pocket — it all adds up at the end of the day”.
  • You need to increase your heart rate (and breathing) while exercising to obtain the benefit.
  • If you miss a day you can add a little bit more to the next day. It’s best to try to squeeze something in each day and then move forward as normal.
  • Don’t quit on yourself! Make your health your priority

Working in workouts.

  • Make a list of things you enjoy doing.
  • Make the activity a group event. Walk with friends or family. Play with your kids.
  • Take the stairs or park farther away.
  • Find new things to do. Hiking, Swimming, skiing etc.
  • Reward yourself!
  • Start with 30 minutes.
  • Make it fun and meet your goals in a way you enjoy.
Source - Women's Health

Article : This Is How Much Exercise You Really Need to Do to See Health Benefits

 In this article the author talks about how even a small amount of exercise will produce a health benefit. The benefits increase with an increase in exercise. There is a really nice info graphic and sources for each level.

  • 30 Minutes of Interval training per week (Broken into 3 workouts) Reduces risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • 150 Minutes of Moderate Exercise per week. Reduces rick of cancer.
  • 175 Minutes of Walking per week (Broken into 5 workouts). May Help alleviate symptoms of depression.
  • 450 Minutes of Exercise a week. Significantly reduces the risk of premature death.
  • 120 Minutes of Moderate Aerobic Exercise per week. Offers Improvements in Memory.
  • 90 Minutes of Exercise a week, May reduce blood Pressure levels.
Source - Shape

Article : How Much Exercise You Need Totally Depends on Your Goals

How long you should exercise depends on your goals.

First there is a difference from a heart perspective if you exercise at the same pace or if you add intervals of more vigorous activity (HIIT)., When you go at a steady pace, you will get blood into the left ventricle (pumps blood to the rest of the body) and both ventricles will fully expand and contract. When you go more vigorously, the ventricles don’t expand and contract as much. Think of breathing deeply or shallowly.

  • Goal – Healthier Heart – 30 minutes a day decreases the risk of heart disease by 10%. 120 minutes a day decreases the risk by 35%. This time includes what you get by walking at a moderate pace.
  • Goal – Burn more Calories – 40 to 60 minutes per week. HIIT training recommended
  • Goal – Supercharge your Strength – 30 Minutes per week.
  • Goal – Up your Endurance – 3 to 4.5 hours per week. All about quality over quantity. Recommends HIIT and challenging yourself with more rigorous routines.
  • Goal – Be in a Better Mood – 2 to 4 hours each week. Regular physical activity can help decrease depression and anxiety and can even score you a serious natural high with a cocktail for serotonin and dopamine that get released when you exercise.
  • Goal – Get Better Sleep – 2.5 to 3.5 hours per week. Exercise earlier in the day and you could see an increase in sleep quality.
  • Goal – Boost Your Brain Power – 2.5 hours per week. Researchers at Stanford say exercise immediately boosts your cognitive skills.
Source - Time

Article : This Is How Much Exercise Experts Really Think You Need

This article suggests that recommendations of 150 minutes per week of exercise is to daunting for the people that need it most. The article goes on to say that it’s not all or nothing. Any amount of exercise is better than none. The end goal should meet or exceed recommendations but start lower and work up.

Source - PopSugar

Article : How Much Should You Be Exercising Each Week?

If you want to

  • Lose weight – Exercise at least an hour a day on 5 days each week. The exercise will need to increase heart rate to be effective.
  • Maintain weight loss – Exercise 60 to 90 minutes each day on 5 days each week.
  • Stay Healthy – 45 to 50 minutes per week to decrease chances of breast cancer. Another recommendation is to do either 30 minutes of moderately intense cardio on 5 days each week or vigorously intense cardio 20 minutes a day on 3 days each week.
  • 300 Minutes a week can be accomplished in 10 minute increments. Add in brisk walks and stairs to your work outs to gain some extra minutes.
Source - The New York Times

Article : The Right Dose of Exercise for a Longer Life

Exercise has had a Goldilocks problem. Too much? Too Little? Just right? The article explores two studies that come to similar conclusions.

  • If you exercise you increase your chances of living longer.
  • If participants exercised but don’t reach the recommendations they still decreased the chance of premature death by 20%.
  • Meeting the recommendations for 150 minutes per week decreased participants chances of premature death by 31%.
  • If the participants did 450 minutes of moderate walking they decreased the chance of premature death by 39%.
  • Engaging in some vigorous exercise decreased the chance of premature death even more.
Source - Today

Article : How much exercise do you need to prevent heart disease, cancer?

The World Health Organization suggest that you strive for 600 metabolic Equivalent (MET) minutes per week. New research suggests that aiming for 3,000 to 4,000 MET minutes per week will achieve maximum benefit.

At rest you use 1 MET per hour.
Walking briskly requires 5 times more energy than being at rest. 1 x 5 = 5 METS

What does 3,000 – 4,000 METs look like?
Each day :

  • Climbing stairs for 10 minutes
  • Vacuuming for 15 minutes
  • Gardening for 20 minutes
  • Running for 20 minutes
  • Walking or cycling for 25 minutes

Or do all of these every day:

  • Biking for an hour
  • Walking the dog for 30 minutes at a leisurely stroll
  • Cooking and washing dishes for half an hour

Or do this every day:

  • Running at a vigorous pace for an hour

All of these activities are cumulative. You don’t need to just climb stairs for 10 solid minutes. You need to have a total for the day of 10 minutes.