Many people are told that they need to exercise by their doctor. But most often these same people fail to learn how much they should be exercising. While there are basic guidelines, you also have to take into consideration what your physical limitations may be. It is best to start out small and work your way up.
According to studies, the average healthy person should be able to do a minimum of thirty minutes of cardio exercise three days per week, as well as thirty minutes of strength training two days per week. This is the minimum amount that you should be exercising to remain healthy. It is better if you can do twice that amount of exercise, with an hour per session.
However, this may not be possible when you are first starting out. If you are overweight or have other health problems, you may not be able to do a thirty minute workout without feeling like you are going to fall over from exhaustion. In addition, if you are not healthy to begin with, it may not be advisable to do thirty minute workouts five days per week. It is best to consult with your doctor about how much exercise is appropriate if you know you are not healthy.
Typically, if you are unhealthy or you are new to regular exercise, you should start out with fifteen to twenty minute workouts every other day. Each work out should alternate between cardio and strength training. Cardio includes things like walking or low impact aerobics, while strength training would be lifting low weights, and doing bodyweight exercises. As this regimen becomes easier, you can increase to thirty minute workouts, then increase to where you are exercising five days per week as recommended. As exercising becomes easier, you can increase the amount of time for each workout until you reach an hour in duration.
Overall, it is important to listen to your body. If a workout seems to be too taxing, you should stop and rest. Some people starting out find it helpful to work out for five or ten minutes, take a five minute breather, then work out for the remaining five or ten minutes of the workout session. Do not overdo it. Take your time and build up gradually. Eventually you will reach healthy levels of exercise.