For most healthy adults, the NHS recommends around 150 minutes of cardio activity a week, plus 2 days of strengthening exercises per week. But this very much depends on how old you are and the level of activity you do.

Confused? No need to be! Lets make it simple for you.  

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How Much Should I Exercise Each Week?  

The amount of exercise you do per week depends on how hard you work out. If you are doing vigorous exercise you will need to do fewer minutes than if you are doing moderate or gentle exercise.

What Is Vigorous Exercise Compared To Moderate?

Let’s have a look what each of those terms mean.

It is vigorous exercise if you are finding it hard to talk more than a few words without having to pause for breath.

Moderate exercise is where you are still out of breath, but you can talk more easily. You shouldn’t be able to sing.

Gentle exercise means you are moving and breathing heavily but you can hold a conversation or sing a song whilst you are doing it.

You need to do less vigorous exercise than moderate because it works your heart more.

The amount of exercise you should be doing depends on your age, too.

You workplace spring chickens should be doing a mixture of exercise for cardiovascular health (your heart) and exercises to strengthen your bones and muscles.

Even 16 and 17 year olds should still be working on strengthening their bones and muscles to prevent problems as they get older.

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Aim to do 60 minutes of activity each day and combine moderate and vigorous activity. A walk, run, or exercise class each day is perfect.

You should also do strengthening exercises 3 times a week. This could be Pilates, dance, rugby, or strength training.

How Much Exercise Should 19-64 Year Olds Be Doing?

Ok this is where is can seem complicated.

The NHS guidelines state you should do 2 sessions of muscle strengthening exercises each week. That bit is straightforward.

You should also do 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week, so that’s like two 45 minute aerobic classes, or most of a game of football where you are really breathing hard.  

Or, you can do 150 minutes of moderate exercise, so 5, half hour workout sessions, brisk walks, or whatever gets you breathing hard.

Or, you can combine to two. So, you could do one 45 minute vigorous workout session, a 45 minute swim, and a long dog walk at the weekend.

As a general rule, 1 minute of vigorous activity counts as 2 minutes of moderate activity.

Don’t forget your strength training in there too! And also remember that you don’t always have to be clad in Lycra for it to count as exercise. Anyone who has run around after a toddler will tell you how quickly that can get you out of breath!

Even just increasing your step count and tracking this on your wellbeing app is a good start.

This is based on a typical adult. If you have special circumstances or conditions, it is a good idea to speak to your GP before you take on a new exercise regime.

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Can You Have Too Much Exercise?

There is definitely such a thing as too much exercise. If you are training hard every day you might spot some of the symptoms, such as decreased mood, fatigue, reduced appetite, and aches and pains.

If this sounds like you, swap some of your vigorous exercise for more moderate or gentle days. You don’t need to go full tilt every day to get the benefits of exercise.

In fact, the wear and tear it can put on your body often makes it counter-productive.

But don’t use that as an excuse to skip a workout!

Is Exercise Enough To Make Me Healthier?

Exercise is an amazing, fantastic thing. And it depends what you are trying to achieve.

If you want to sleep better, boost your mood, and improve your physical wellbeing then yes, exercise will make you healthy.

If healthy to you is weight loss, then exercise alone is not enough. There is a saying that abs are made in the kitchen. Sit ups will never give you a six pack if there is a layer of fat hiding the muscles. But all weight loss plans should contain exercise.

Here at Wellspace we think that health is about more than weight. To us, health is about mental resilience, quality sleep, eating well, and having a healthy body.

We have built our training, for example, around these pillars.

Exercise is proven to improve sleep quality, enhance one’s mood, contribute to maintaining a healthy weight, and reduce the risk of diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.

So yes, exercise will make you healthier.

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