How Long Do I Need to Exercise?

The American Heart Association recommends completing:

  • 30 minutes or more of moderate-intensity aerobic activity at least five days each week or
  • 25 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity at least three days each week. Plus moderate-to high-intensity muscle-strengthening activities for at least two days per week.

Establishing Your Target Heart Rate
You can determine that you’re getting the proper amount of exercise — not too little and not too much — by establishing your target heart rate zone for your age, and then using a heart rate monitor during your workout to make sure you’re hitting the numbers.

  1. Determine your resting heart rate by checking your pulse for 60 seconds first thing in the morning. Your heart rate will probably be around 60 to 80 beats a minute — a little less if you’re in decent shape.
  2. Match your age to the target heart rate using the table here

For example, if you’re 35 years old, your target heart rate zone is a low of 93 to a high of 157 beats a minute.

The digital readout on your heart rate monitor will provide real time numbers. Push yourself if your target heart rate is on the low end.

If you’re just starting an exercise program, you may need a few months to achieve the highest level of your target heart rate.