Only 1 in 3 US adults get the recommended amount of exercise in a week. Are you one of them?
Everybody knows that exercise is the secret ingredient to living a long, healthy life. But exactly how much do you need in a week? Keep reading to find out!
The good news is...
When it comes to exercising, you have a lot of options. Whether you decide to take up a sport that you can play with friends, you prefer long bouts of cardio, or you love to lift weights, there are many ways to make sure you're staying physically active.
The general consensus is that most healthy adults should aim for about 150 minutes of aerobic exercise each week. That's 150 minutes, or two and a half hours, preferably distributed across bouts that last at least ten minutes. Which brings us to...
The bad news:
Statistically speaking, you're probably not getting as much exercise as you need. But then again, there's no one size fits all approach to nutrition and fitness. So how do you know how much exercise you really need to be getting in order to stay healthy?
You use your phone
The only way to know, truly, how much exercise you need to reach your health and fitness goals, or maintain them if you're already where you want to be, is by understanding every aspect of your body and how it reacts to changes in diet and lifestyle.
It's a simple formula
The human body relies on calories for energy. Calories are what keep us ticking, so to speak. When it comes to our health, and our weight, in particular, calories play a huge factor. Too many calories in and too few calories out will typically result in unhealthy weight gain. Too few calories in and too many calories out will result in the opposite. In some cases, though, too few calories in can actually trigger our body's natural "starvation mode," which will paradoxically lead to weight gain.
How much exercise you need is therefore directly related to your body's caloric needs, since exercise is not only about strengthening bones and muscle, it's about expending the appropriate amount of calories.
But as we said,
The human body relies on calories for energy and burns them the same way a car burns fuel. This applies even while at rest: You can think of the time you spend sitting at a desk as equivalent to a car idling at a red light. The engine is still running. Which means fuel is still being burned.
This "idle time" of the human body is called the Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). It's one of the many key health indicators that the FitTrack Dara helps you monitor and it lets you know how many calories, if you did absolutely nothing all day long, your body burns to maintain its current composition. It's your baseline.
You're more than your BMR
Your BMR doesn't consider other factors in your lifestyle, like if you have a physically demanding job or you have to chase your kids around the grocery store once a week. Your BMR is affected by your muscle mass (another indicator that FitTrack monitors) which can improve your metabolism, but other aspects of your life augment how many calories you'll burn in a day as well. That's why it's important to consider how active your lifestyle is when planning your caloric intake.
PRO TIP: For more active users, the FitTrack Pro app includes Athlete Mode. This function alters the algorithm our app uses to account for more active lifestyles. You can read more about it here.
So how much exercise do you really need?
First, you should determine your BMR. Then, you should monitor your caloric intake to see how many calories you consume throughout the day. Then, you can determine how many calories you should burn consistently to reach your health and wellness goals. You can find plenty of guides that estimate how many calories different activities will help you burn, but at the end of the day, everybody is different.
FitTrack helps you determine how much exercise you need by giving you daily insights into your BMR and how your activity levels are affecting your body composition. Aim for the recommended 2.5 hours a week, but use your FitTrack report to fine-tune your plans and keep you motivated as you work towards your health and wellness goals.