How Much Exercise Per Week is Necessary

Manny and Anthony got this discussion going yesterday and I think it needs further exploration…and that is how much exercise should we be doing per week?

Exercise shouldn't be a sentence to pain and suffering

There are a few ways to approach the answer to this question.

The first thing to do is identify your goal.

Is it to do the least amount of exercise possible while getting into the best looking shape possible?

Is it the above mentioned goal as well as minimizing as many risks factors of disease as possible?

Is it some performance goal (like running a certain distance in a given time, or a strength goal etc?)

Is it some combination of the above?

In any case it seems that many people have come to believe that you can do far less work than you have to in order to get into your goal shape.

I think this is a symptom of the modern industrialized sedentary society. For many of us our daily routine barely requires us to even stand up let alone walk around.

If you spend the better part of your day sitting then there is a good case to be made for you to workout or at least go for a walk every day. At least move around a bit.

I think we’ve all become a bit too accustomed to a really sedentary lifestyle. And as Manny and Anthony pointed out even as little as 7-8 hours per WEEK sounds like alot of exercise…this seems a bit ridiculous…out of 168 available hours in a week does dedicating 8 of them to exercise and improving the look and health of your body sound like too much?

If it does sound like too much that is an artifact of the general busyness and sedentary nature of our societies and nothing to do with fundamental physiological principles.

We could all easily exercise for multiple hours per day if we had enough time. I totally understand that a 2 hour workout every day might not make much sense for everyone. But at least an hour of movement per day should be a bare minimum.

And then mixed within that could be 3-4 more intense and targeted training sessions to force muscle growth and adaptation.

The reality is that Anthony and Manny pointed out how far off our perception of what a realistic amount of exercise per week should be.

I think we’ve all become far too used to doing far too little.

If we learn to prioritize a mix of both targeted vigorous exercise (weight training/running etc) and general lifestyle movement (walking) as something that must be done every day then we’d be close to what our bodies were built for in the first place and many of our lifestyle disorders, issues with eating and dealing with stress would be much less of a problem.

John