Let's talk about the recommended exercise duration, intensity, and frequency from the top organizations in health and fitness. In the fitness industry we call it FITT (frequeny, intensity, time and type).
Strength training is recommended at least two days per week, targeting all major muscle groups. The ACSM recommends 2-3 sets of 8-12 repetitions for each exercise, with a weight that is challenging but can be completed with proper form. Note that oftentimes, higher weight and lower reps will be used for improving strength and power, while lower weight and higher reps typically can improve muscle endurance.
For cardiovascular exercise, the ACSM recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise per week, spread throughout the week. The ACE also recommends a similar duration of exercise, with a target heart rate zone of 50-85% of the individual's maximum heart rate.
Stretching exercises are also recommended, preferably after a warm-up and at the end of a workout. The ACSM recommends holding each stretch for 10-30 seconds, repeating each stretch two to four times. Stretching can improve flexibility and range of motion, reduce risk of injury, and improve posture.
As with any new endeavor, go slow. Focus on getting the form right first, then you can increase intensity. The goal is establishing a lifestyle change that follows you throughout your life. So consistency is key.
It is important to note that the exercise recommendations may vary depending on an individual's age, health status, and fitness level. Therefore, it is recommended to consult a healthcare provider or a certified exercise professional to create an individualized exercise plan.
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