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Road To Fitness: Expert Answers How Much Exercise You Need For Optimal Health

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We all are familiar with the importance of exercise for our overall health. But do you ever wonder how much exercise is needed for your optimal health? The amount of exercise needed for optimal health can vary depending on factors like your age, fitness level, time, current lifestyle, feasibility of making modifications, mental and physical willingness, and specific health goals. We spoke to our expert Kushal Pal Singh, Fitness and Performance Expert, Anytime Fitness, who listed the exercises to add to your fitness routine and their frequency.

Fitness For Optimal Health

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Singh said, “The question of how much exercise is needed for optimal health is multifaceted and highly individualised. General guidelines provide a starting point, but customisation based on personal fitness levels, health conditions, and goals is essential.”

He added, “A consensus around the multiple health and fitness-related studies indicates that a person who walks 4000 or more steps every day has a greater chance of fighting lifestyle diseases and minimises the chance of carrying them in the first place. For every 1000 steps that a person takes beyond the 4000 steps, they reduce the chance of premature death by over 15%.” According to the National Academy of Sciences, engaging in physical activity, whether through single sessions or long-term participation, enhances cognitive performance and promotes brain health.

Exercises To Add To Your Fitness Routine

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Aerobic Exercise

Singh said, “Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise per week. You can divide this into sessions that are a minimum of 10 minutes each.”

Examples: Moderate-intensity activities include brisk walking, cycling at a moderate pace, or swimming. Vigorous-intensity activities include running, fast cycling, or High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).

Also Read: Swimming For Health: Health Benefits For Mind & Body

Strength Training

Singh added, “Include strength training exercises for all major muscle groups on at least two days per week.”

Examples: Strength training exercises can involve lifting weights, using resistance bands, bodyweight exercises like push-ups and squats, or using weight machines at the gym.

pilates

Flexibility and Balance

It is essential to maintain flexibility and balance in your body. Singh advised, “Stretch major muscle groups regularly, aiming for flexibility exercises at least 2-3 days per week.”

Examples: Yoga, pilates, and static stretching routines can improve flexibility and balance.

Also Read: Flexibility 101: Why It Is Important & 5 Best Stretching Exercises

Additional Recommendations

  • Sedentary Behaviour: Minimise sedentary activities, such as sitting for extended periods. Try to incorporate physical activity into your daily routine, such as standing or moving around during breaks at work.
  • Combination of Activities: A combination of aerobic, strength training, flexibility, and balance exercises provides a well-rounded approach to fitness and overall health.

Singh said, “While these recommendations can be a starting point for the journey to achieving optimum health, it can be highly misleading to weigh everyone on the same scale. A person’s attitude and perception towards what and how they view ‘Optimal Health’ can factor in deciding if they are in the prime of their health or not. While some exercises may work for some people, they may not be likeable or feasible for someone else of different age, gender, or demographic.”

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Bottomline

Singh concluded, “A holistic approach to health that includes not only exercise but also nutrition, sleep, stress management, and other lifestyle factors is crucial. Ultimately, the pursuit of optimal health is a lifelong journey that requires flexibility, self-awareness, and a commitment to overall well-being. Also, always seek guidance from fitness experts when making significant changes to your exercise routine and remember that the path to optimal health is unique to each individual.”

[Disclaimer: The information in this article is provided by an expert and is for informational purposes only. Hence, we advise you to consult your fitness expert before starting any exercise regimen.]

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