Exercise: how much, how far, how fast, how long and how often?

Posted in Active Bites |
Key Facts: 
  • Knowing how best to exercise is never going to be easy, with all the options and opinions out there
  • So, if setting out your own exercise schedule is key to you - here are some guidelines set out by the American Centre for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Remember, if you don't have the time to spare for a lengthy session, the intensity of the work out is what's going to do you the good.

If physical activity can improve overall health and fitness and reduce the risk of chronic disease, how much and how often should we be doing it?  Dr Loren Cordain, professor of exercise physiology at Colorado State University suggests we should follow our Stone Age ancestors because genetically we are identical. Men should cover large distances on most days and women (who were the gatherer hunters, rather than hunter gatherers), a fair amount!  Yet a recent study seems to show that we can speed up our metabolism and improve fitness by putting in only three minutes of high intensity training per week!  
So who’s right?

Well, the answer probably is that they are both right.  Studies show that low as well as high intensity exercise provides health benefits.  Most of us do not have the time to put in long hours of almost daily endurance exercise and so perhaps the ideal solution is to be constantly changing the duration and intensity of what we do.

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