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How Often Should You Exercise?

how often should you exercise?

I thought I had it all figured out, the perfect prescription for staying in shape.

But then my overzealous behavior got the best of me. Three days of hard training turned into four and sometimes five, just for good measure. Add yoga, yard work and an inordinate amount of dog walks into the mix and you’ve got overkill.

For the record, I’m in pretty decent shape. My weight is right on track and I’m healthy … that is until I hurt myself trying too hard to get healthy! So what causes a normally sane woman to push herself into overdrive?

Perhaps the blame lies with the Olympics. Watching those perfectly conditioned specimens of mankind compete at the highest level inspired me to be all that I could physically be. (Wait, isn’t that the slogan for the U.S. Army?) Or maybe it’s those damn Gatorade commercials.

Although it’s trendy to think of oneself as an athlete, it is not my vocation, and I don’t want it to be! I love the feeling I get from exercise, but I derive equal amounts of pleasure from many other activities, some of which don’t require me to break into a sweat at all.

So I’m dialing it back and doing two or three cardio/strength combo workouts and one yoga workout a week. That formula along with my normal activity keeps me happy and healthy and that is good enough for me.

How Often Should You Exercise?

Well, that all depends.

A medical professional would probably prescribe thirty minutes of moderate daily exercise (or 15 minutes of intense activity), but that’s only to maintain a current level of fitness. If you want to change the way your body looks or compete athletically, it will require much more.

If you want to lose pounds you should aim for five days a week of moderate to intense cardio for 60 minutes, but you can break that hour up into smaller bites if it works for you. And if you want to gain muscle, back off the cardio and concentrate on strength training three or four days a week.

What’s your workout schedule? —Karen 

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