Spending 60 minutes every day devoted to exercise strains more than just the muscles. Most people already feel that 24 hours is never enough to get everything done. Finding that kind of time is the leading excuse for not exercising. In response to time pressures, shorter routines have been touted to give you the all the benefits with less time commitment and even less sweat. But do they work?
The joint recommendation of the U.S. Departments of Agriculture (USDA) and Health and Human Services (DHHS) is to "engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity, above your usual activity at home and at work, on most days of the week."
This means devoting a minimum of 210 minutes of exercise spread out over each week to help avoid putting on additional pounds. This amount of exercise also is likely to give you some health benefits. If you want to get fit or lose weight or if you have already lost weight and want to keep it off, 30 minutes per day won't be enough. You need to double this to an hour of moderate intensity exercise most days of the week. This means about 6 hours per week.
To continue reading this article, you must login
Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School.