How much exercise do you need each week?

People frequently ask me how much they “should” be working out.

For the record, I hate “shoulds” because they sound like punishment. Exercise shouldn’t be a punishment — movement is a gift and the more you do it, the better you (generally) feel! If you hate a certain form of exercise, find something else that makes you happy.

I created the infographic below to outline how much exercise experts recommend we get each week for general health.

You might look at the numbers in the chart and feel overwhelmed, but it’s not that much, I swear.

Basically, go for a brisk 30-minute walk 5 nights a week, do two total-body strength-training workouts on nonconsecutive days and follow them up with some light stretching, and you’re DONE! (click the picture below to see a bigger version)


If you want extra credit in terms of even greater health benefits, the Centers for Disease Control suggests upping the moderate intensity cardio (like brisk walking) to 300 minutes a week or the vigorous activity (like jogging) to 150 minutes per week, or an equivalent combo of the two. The weight training recommendations stay the same, at two or more sessions per week.

What do you think? Does that sound doable? Yes? No? Maybe?

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Wendy Watkins

About Wendy Watkins

Wendy Watkins is a Bangor-based personal trainer, fitness coach, studio owner, and writer/editor. She is the author of The Complete Idiots Guide to Losing 20 Pounds in 2 Months. Visit her website at