How Long Should You Exercise Daily To Stay Healthy

How long should I work out for? is a question frequently asked by those who intend
to start engaging in a regularly scheduled workout regime.
The truth is, this question has no universally correct answer because it is contingent
upon an individual’s physical fitness goals, present state of physical health and
mental wellbeing.

While it must be mentioned that it takes a lot of work to lose body weight and
maintain physical fitness. It is also worth stating that adhering to the barest
minimum of physical activity can go a long way to helping you maintain a healthy
lifestyle and combat the adverse effects of living a sedentary life.

Also, your present physical and mental fitness levels play a significant role in
determining the type and volume of exercise that you should implement on a daily

How Long Should You Ideally Exercise?

The duration of your daily exercise routine should be tailored to meet your specific
fitness and health goals.

For example, a physically fit and healthy person may decide to run days of between
20 and 30 minutes of high volume, high-intensity workouts.
If you want to burn body fat, improve the health of your heart and build your
endurance level, then running days consisting of between 45 and 90 minutes of
cardio workouts is ideal.

In the event that you intend taking it easy to recover from previous high-intensity
workouts, you can still spend between 30 and 45 minutes on your recovery days
engaging in light to moderate workout sessions.

In summary, the time you spend on your workouts will vary depending on the
objective of your workout sessions as shown below:

20 to 30 Minutes Of Short Training Sessions

The days when you have training sessions that consist of HIIT should be brief. Why?
Considering the human body is incapable of sustained high physical exertions for
extended periods of time. But if you find yourself engaging in high-intensity
workouts that last an hour or more, then it simply means that you may not be
pushing yourself hard enough. In other words, you are probably not running a HIIT
workout routine.

Ultimately, high-intensity interval training sessions should be performed within a
timeframe of between 20 and 30 minutes. Use a heart rate monitor to track your
workout’s intensity and ensure that with each training session, you are working up to
your targeted heart rate.

Note that putting in the necessary effort to reach your fitness goals will be less of a
challenge if you get a good night’s sleep before your workout.

30 to 45 Minutes Of Light Training Sessions On Your Recovery Days

A light workout on a day off is meant to give your body and mind a break. You could
easily take a rest and recuperate by chilling out on your favorite couch, but an active
recovery consisting of low-intensity physical activity is the best way to go. Active
recovery helps to improve your mobility while easing your stress level and boosting
your calorie expenditure.

You can improve the range of mobility of your joints with active recovery. Many find
that going for a swim or taking a slow walk can help with active recovery. Restorative
yoga classes are another viable option. But whichever low-intensity active recovery
you intend running, a workout for 30 to 45 minutes is just ideal.

45 to 90 Minutes Of Moderate Training Sessions

Your weekday workouts will typically be of moderate intensity. Although these
exercises are more strenuous and burn a greater amount of calories compared to a
typical active recovery low-intensity workout, they still give your body the time it
needs to recuperate and get ready for the next round of HIIT.

However, on days when you exercise moderately, your body doesn’t work as hard, so
you need to exercise for a longer time in order to burn the amount of calories needed
to make a significant difference in your weight. You should make a conscientious
effort to have your training session last for at least 45 minutes.

How Exercise Benefits Physical And Mental Health

Your mental and physical well-being can both be improved with regular exercise. In
fact, research conducted by the National Institute on Aging has shown that not
being actively involved in scheduled workout routines can potentially be very
harmful to your overall health.

So regular physical activity is actually one of the most important ways of living a
healthy life, and this position is also backed by the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC).
As a matter of fact, regular workouts are great for the health of your heart in the
following ways:

  •  reduce your “bad” cholesterol levels,
  • lower high blood pressure,
  •  lower your risk of heart disease and even a heart attack,
  •  lower your risk of having a stroke,
  •  lower your risk of contracting cardiovascular disease.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that adults
engage in at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity workouts. Apart from
improving your heart health, other exercise benefits include:

  • enhancing your brain function and improving your memory,
  • combating fatigue caused by cancer and other chronic illness,
  • protecting your body from chronic illnesses,
  • promoting weight loss
  • promoting good sleep quality
  • mental health benefits including reducing bouts of depression and anxiety.

Can Domestic Chores Replace Exercise?

We are all under pressure to improve our fitness levels. If you have never been to the
gym or you cannot run 5 kilometers, you should not feel so bad.

Doing regular housework could be a fast way to shape up. It’s a great way to stay
active and increase your calorie expenditure for the day (4.2 kJ = 1 calorie). Some
chores around the house can burn a lot of calories which can sometimes be more
than that burnt in a five-kilometer run.

How many calories you burn while running five kilometers depends on your speed,
your body mass index (BMI), and your gender. At a rate of 10 minutes for every 1.6
kilometers run, a person weighing 149.91 Ib (68 kg) will typically expend about 960
kilojoules (kJ). At the same time, if you go for a 5 km walk, you will burn 780 kJ of

Below is a summary of some typical house chores and the potential energy that can
be expended from doing these household chores:

  • You can burn between 660 to 710 kJ from sweeping and mopping the floors of
    your home for one hour
  • When you clean the surface of furniture in your home for one hour, you can
    burn as much as 570 kJ
  • One hour of vacuuming will lead to you burning up to 710 kJ
  • An hour of carrying groceries upstairs burns as much as 1,850 kJ
  • Ironing your clothes will see you burn as much as 340 kJ per hour
  • Whenever you make your bed, you burn 290 kJ per hour
  • You burn 700 kJ every hour you spend dusting household furniture
  • About 1,320 kJ is burnt per hour whenever you wash your vehicle
  • Anytime you clean the windows of your home, you burn between 590 to 1,260
    kJ per hour
  • You burn 1,680 kJ per hour whenever you rearrange your home furniture or
    move house
  • Gardening as a hobby for an hour will lead to you burning between 1,050 to
    1,370 kJ

Although keeping a clean and organized house can help you get in shape, it is not a
substitute for regular exercise.

It is important to note that training programs are designed with specific goals in
mind, such as muscle gain, weight loss, endurance and strength training. Most
training programs therefore comply with scientifically tried and tested principles that
more often than not guarantee verifiable results if the program is followed to the

Workouts versus Housework

The concept of progressive overload is central to the science of exercise. This means
sticking to the same workout plan for a while, maybe a few weeks, and then
gradually ramping up the difficulty level by adding more sets and/or more

As a result of progressive overload, your strength will increase gradually over the
course of a year or even a few weeks as you “overload” your muscles with added
training volume by way of increased sets and/or repetitions. With housework, the
principle of progressive overload does not apply, as you do not really increase the
volume or intensity of your household chores, at least not to the extent where you
overload your skeletal muscles in the process.

Exercises Help You Connect Socially

It is common knowledge that regular exercises offer numerous health benefits,
including blood sugar control, insulin sensitivity, and improving your cardiovascular
function. Exercising not only helps your body, but also your mind and even

The capacity to connect with other people and share in their lives is central to our
sense of social well-being. As a result, social exercise is defined as activity in which
two or more people engage in conversation in order to maintain or enhance physical

There are many advantages beyond the health benefits of exercises when social
connections are added to the mix. There is a correlation between exercising with
others and increased motivation. It is inspiring to see someone else take on a
challenge right alongside you, and it is even more inspiring to see the two of you
push each other to achieve your best results.

Having a fitness partner or team keeps you motivated and accountable to show up
and put in the work. When you join a team, a group, or just a few friends, you have
someone to hold you accountable when you miss a workout and motivate you to get
back on track.

The chance to meet others who share your interests, as well as the possibility of
making new friends and becoming part of a group, are additional positive results
from engaging in workout sessions at your local gym for example.

In Conclusion

The amount of time you spend in your daily workout is completely dependent on
your current health and your fitness goals. Whatever your respective goals may be,
you should always dedicate yourself to maintaining regular scheduled training
sessions to improve your overall physical and mental health. Household chores can
help you burn calories, but cannot substitute a workout program which is mainly
designed to meet specific fitness goals and backed by science to be effective and
consistent in achieving those fitness goals. Make it a priority today to meet with a
professional trainer that will guide you on the best training program that meets your
health and fitness needs.

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