Why you only need 150 minutes of exercise a week

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Think you are healthy? Think again. According to the ABS 60% of Aussies are not getting in the recommended amount of exercise.

Are you are struggling to get motivated to exercise this summer? Turns out you might not need to be doing a crazy exercise regime after all.  150 minutes of moderate exercise and 75 minutes of vigorous exercise has been found to have significant health benefits. This is according to The Lancet study, a global survey of the exercise practices of over 17 countries from China to Canada. The participants of the study ranged from various countries, different socio-economic backgrounds and were surveyed for an average of 7 years.

The study found that those who participated in an average of 150 minutes of exercise per week had a far healthier quality of life than their sedentary counterparts. The study also found that it was less important the kind of exercise you do more that you remain active on a continual basis. Anything from cleaning the house to walking to the bus had significant impacts on the overall health of the participants. Even getting only 2.5 hours of exercise per week saw a 28% decrease in premature death and a 20% decrease in heart disease.

Mick Cuncio Head of Fitness First, believes that people have an idea that ‘fitness is all about flogging yourself on the treadmill for 150 minutes.” When in fact, fitness can come in many different formats: “an individual might actually need to be working on strength rather than speed or need the start a fitness plan.”

According to the American Institute of Physicians ‘people spend an average of 9 hours sitting down at work’. “People need to become more aware of their incidental movement and ways to increase it.” says Mick Cuncio. Be that walking to work, or exercising in your lunch break.

So what if you want to loose weight? Well a new study in the Journal Circulation says  to increase that 150 minutes to 300 minutes or 5 hours per week. Roughly speaking that’s 1 hour of vigorous exercise almost everyday. Intense sweat inducing workouts for an hour a day have multiple health benefits including decreasing the risk of cardiovascular diseases, several cancers and diabetes. According to the Australian Department of Health, the average Aussie should also be fitting an average of two weights sessions per week.

A common mistake committed by those without an exercise regime is trying to go from 0 to 60 in a heartbeat. Starting from a low or as someone without an exercise regime, can be tough and it can be hard to find the motivation to throw yourself into a HIIT class straight off the bat.

In order to make exercise stick it is far better to start out slow and move you way up adding in aspects of exercise you enjoy rather than starting out with a crazy workout plan to get your summer bod and quitting after 2 weeks.

To read more about how you can take on the task of getting the minimum amount of exercise per week. Check out the Lazy girls fitness guide to doing the bare minimum

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Maddie Lucre

CONTRIBUTOR

Maddie is in her first year of a Bachelor of Communications at UTS. She has a passion for writing, podcasts and photography. A self-confessed coffee addict Maddie loves all things to do with food, wine and the beach. In her down time you can often find her coffee in hand heading down to beach with plenty of sunscreen on.

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