Getting enough exercise to live a healthy and long life may seem like an incredibly daunting task. “Why would I want to slave away for hours at the gym?” you might ask.. This is the mindset that many individuals have about improving their overall health and fitness. They believe that they need to sacrifice their favorite food, spend hours doing cardio they hate, and do endless activities that simply aren’t fun. The bad news, is that to live the healthiest life for yourself, you do need to put in some focused attention and work. The good news, is that the amount of exercise you need is much less than you think! In fact, we can achieve the recommended amount in only two days. Let me explain.
Why Should Someone Exercise
In the United States, it is recognized that nearly half of all American adults suffer from a chronic disease. The catch with the classification of this chronic disease is that they are preventable. This means that through lifestyle and behavior intervention, the effects of the disease can be mitigated largely, if not entirely. Here’s the thing. Most people know that a large amount of individuals in the world are unhealthy. In addition to this, most individuals know that doing aerobic exercise like biking, brisk walking, and swimming, and resistance training such as free weights, classes, and machines, all help to make individuals healthier. Despite knowing this, nearly 80% of all American adults do not meet the guidelines for both resistance training and aerobic activity in the United States. What gives?
As mentioned in the beginning of the article, I think this simply comes down to expectations. People expect that to achieve the best health results for themselves, they need to sacrifice endless hours in the gym, skipping time with family and friends to achieve their goals. This mindset can make individuals just forget about working out to begin with. Here’s the good part. As we mentioned, we can actually get most of the benefits from exercise for an entire week, in just two days! Let’s take a look at the current guidelines for health, and what it recommends.
Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans
The current physical activity guidelines for Americans, is split up into two parts. Aerobic activity and resistance training. 150 minutes of moderate aerobic training, or “cardio” as most people know it, is what the U.S. Department of health recommends for adults to get per week. Moderate physical activity could be brisk walking, light dance, using a push mower on your lawn, on casually playing a sport. In addition to this, the guidelines also recommend resistance training twice per week, with one set of every major muscle group. This could involve doing free weights, taking a weight class, or even doing machines. It doesn’t matter how you achieve the two, as long as you do it. This may seem like a lot, but when broken down into two separate days, is very manageable.
Two Day a Week Program
Since we have noted that we need to do some sort of resistance training twice a week, this makes it easy to start with. I will also note, that these two sessions do not have to be long. To get the benefits from exercise, the session would only need to be 20-30 minutes. Now, we need to break up the 150 minutes of moderate activity. Since we have two days, that breaks it down to 75 minutes each day. It may not be feasible to do all 75 minutes at one time, so I recommend to split it into two separate sessions in the morning and at night. This can look like at 30 minutes walk in the morning, and a 45 minutes light bike ride at night. I will say, if you do not mind about adding another day to do just your aerobic activity this would make it much easier. So instead of doing 75 minutes twice a week, you would do 50 minutes of aerobic activity three times a week. Although this isn’t a two day per week program, it might be more reasonable to have another day only dedicate to doing some cardio. But that’s it! Two days and you can get all the exercise you need for health!
What’s The Catch
Technically, there is no catch. Doing this amount of activity will improve your health greatly. I will say, that if you have other fitness goals like weight loss, improved fitness, and anything else, more exercise will be needed to achieve the goals. These goals are public health recommendations that are a good place to start for getting healthier. But of course, the more you do, the more benefit you will recieve!
If you are just starting your journey into the gym, and are looking for a program that will hit your recommended weekly guidelines for exercise, then be sure to check out the one we designed below! Good luck on your pursuits!
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