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How much physical activity do adults need per week?

December 12, 2023

How much Physical Activity is Recommended for Adults per Week?

When it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, physical activity plays a big role. But how much physical activity is recommended for adults? The recommendation among healthcare professionals is clear: adults should aim for at least 150 minutes (about two and a half hours) of moderate-intensity physical activity every week. Moreover, incorporating muscle-strengthening activities on two or more days a week that work all major muscle groups is highly recommended. Let’s dive into the reasons behind this recommendation and how it can benefit your overall well-being.  

Why is 150 Minutes of Physical Activity Recommended for Adults?

The “150 minutes of physical activity a week” guideline is a recommendation from health authorities, including the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). But why is engaging in physical activity important? Here’s what you need to know: 

  1. Improved Cardiovascular Health: Regular aerobic exercise, such as brisk walking, jogging, or cycling, helps to strengthen your heart and improve its efficiency. This, as a result, reduces the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke.
  2. Weight Management: Secondly, engaging in 150 minutes of physical activity assists with weight management and, in some cases, weight loss. It burns calories and boosts your metabolism, helping you shed unwanted pounds and maintain a healthy weight. 
  3. Mental Well-Being: Physical activity is not just about physical health. It’s also a powerful mood booster. Those 150 minutes can help alleviate stress, anxiety, and depression, leaving you feeling happier and more balanced. 
  4. Enhanced Endurance: Regular aerobic exercise improves your endurance and stamina. You will find everyday activities such as climbing stairs, walking during vacation, and even keeping up with your children become easier. You will have more energy to enjoy life to the fullest. 

Why is strength training important in a fitness routine?  

In addition to aerobic exercise, muscle-strengthening activities are important. You should incorporate these activities two or more days each week and target all major muscle groups. There are a wide variety of benefits associated with strength training. 

  1. Increased Muscle Mass: Strength training helps build and maintain lean muscle mass, which is crucial for improving overall physical function. 
  2. Better Posture and Joint Health: Strengthening your muscles can improve your posture, reduce the risk of injuries, and help alleviate joint pain. 
  3. Balance and Stability: Muscle-strengthening exercises enhance your balance and stability, reducing the risk of falls, especially in older adults. 
  4. Functional Strength: A stronger body allows you to perform everyday tasks with greater ease, from lifting groceries to working on house projects.

How to build a workout routine that works for you? 

Experts recommend completing 150 minutes of physical activity and strength training at least twice weekly. However, it can be challenging to get started. Many of us lead busy lives, work late hours, have long commutes, and are responsible for taking care of household duties. Adding another priority to your life can be daunting. But now that you understand the significance of 150 minutes of aerobic activity and muscle-strengthening exercises let’s discuss how to make it work for your lifestyle: 

  1. Set Realistic Goals: Begin gradually and build up your exercise routine over time. Setting achievable goals is the key to long-term success. 
  2. Diversify Your Activities: Keep your workouts interesting by incorporating a variety of aerobic activities, from swimming to dancing. For muscle strengthening, include exercises like weightlifting, resistance bands, or bodyweight exercises. 
  3. Create a Schedule: Dedicate specific times each week for your workouts. Consistency is vital to reap the benefits. 
  4. Find a Support System: Consider joining fitness classes or partnering with a workout buddy to stay motivated. 
  5. Listen to Your Body: Pay attention to your body’s signals. If you experience pain or discomfort, consult with a physical therapist or medical professional. 

Reaping the Benefits: Embracing 150 Minutes of Adult Physical Activity

Every week, adults should aim for 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity and two days of muscle strengthening activity.

In conclusion, the significance of engaging in 150 minutes (about two and a half hours) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity and muscle-strengthening exercises is rooted in well-researched guidelines for attaining and sustaining a healthier lifestyle. Embracing these recommendations in your daily regimen can pave the way for numerous physical and mental benefits of regular exercise. Strap on your sneakers, pick up those weights and kickstart your path toward a healthier life.  

If you’re struggling to kickstart your fitness journey due to chronic pain. Find a PT Solutions clinic near you. Your physical therapist can provide expert guidance, personalized support, and effective strategies to manage pain while embracing a healthier lifestyle.  


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