It’s no secret that exercise does a body good. But between work, your side hustle, and just doin’ you, squeezing in time to sweat is a struggle—so we don’t blame you for wondering how much is just enough.
The rule of thumb is this: 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of more intense aerobic exercise (or a combo of both), plus two sessions of total-body strength training per week.
So here’s the breakdown: Aerobic (or cardio) exercise is anything that gets your heart pumping harder for at least 10 minutes at a time. If you take the moderate route, that means breaking a sweat with activities like power walking or a relatively chill bike ride, while hard running and swimming laps count as more vigorous exercise.
And while being active every day is better than not (duh), there isn’t a rigid breakdown of how much activity you need to do each day. It’s flexible, so you can slice up your cardio time however you’d like, whether that means five 30-minute sessions, three 25-minute HIIT workouts, or any other combination of 10 minutes.
What matters here is actually putting in the work and recruiting major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms) through a variety of exercises when you do.
Thirty minutes of moderate cardio a few times a week? That’s half a Pose episode, one wash cycle for a load of laundry, or about the time it takes to roast a chicken breast in the oven for dinner. Not bad, right?
Being healthy isn’t just about being physically active. It also involves good nutrition and your mental and emotional well-being, so agonizing over every heart-pounding minute is a waste of precious time and energy. It’s easy to get bogged down by the numbers, so know the recommendations, but there’s no need to freak if you fall short on your sweat sessions. After all, any exercise is better than none.
Your best bet? Sneak more movement into your everyday life to count toward your goals. Or try finding an activity you love doing, and doing it as often as you can. If you don’t find anything that makes you smile, you’re not working hard enough. And when it comes time to get yourself in gear, don’t let the million-and-one reasons for not working out hold you back from good health. Be stronger than your excuses!