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How Much Exercise Do You Need to See Health Benefits?

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How much exercise do you really need to see results? How much exercise do you need to see health benefits? how many minutes of exercise per week. exercising 20 minutes a day. how many hours of exercise a week

How much exercise do you think you need to lose weight? The number might actually surprise you. I know it shocked my clients. How much exercise do you *actually* need to get in shape? Do you need to sweat it out for an hour or more every day? So I break it down for you. How much exercise do you really need to get in shape?

Twenty minutes three times per week? Half-hour per day? And how much is too much? how many hours of exercise a week? Is exercising 20 minutes a day beneficial?

Let’s go over the (sometimes) mysterious amount of exercise that is ideal. Ideal for your health and wellness. Ideal for getting into shape. Starting with the minimum.


Of course, you’re going to have to start from where you are right now. If you’re not already exercising regularly, there is no need to go overboard. In fact, trying too much too soon may derail your motivation. It will become a reason you just throw in the towel.

So, let’s say you’re not that active (yet). What if I were to recommend “ten to twenty minutes every other day at a level you think you can do?” How does that sound as a starting point? How many minutes of exercise per week does that add up to? That is an hour more than if you decided not to work out at all that week.

Pretty do-able, I’d say!

If you’re not training for a competition, you can absolutely get into great shape starting with this plan.

It’s going to take longer, I’m not gonna lie. But that time is going to pass anyway, so when the next season comes around wouldn’t you want to be proud of your improved strength and fitness?

Yes, I thought so!


Now, there isn’t one answer for everyone. The main rule is, to begin with where you are. Take note of your fitness level and your goals and increase and improve slowly. There really is no quick fix (at least no quick fix that will give you lasting long-term results).

Always consider what is reasonably sustainable for you, based on:

  •       Figure out your long-term fitness goal?
  •       What else is going on in your life? For example, how much time do you really have?
  •       Find out your current state of fitness?

But don’t stop there!

As you create a sustainable exercise habit, it will start getting easier. So, don’t forget to make it a bit more challenging as you go. Every week do something to push yourself a bit farther than you were before. If you’re strength training, do another repetition or grab the next heavier weight. If you’re doing cardio, go a bit longer, farther, and/or faster.

A great motivational tool is to log your workouts. A simple notepad or workbook (or app) will do! Just enter your reps, sets, and/or times each time you workout. This will not only help you to keep motivated to continue, but it will also help you see where you can squeeze in that extra challenge as you progress.

After several weeks you can stop and evaluate. Keep going the way you are, ramp it up, or change it completely. Eventually, you will find yourself getting stronger, and more fit!


However, while exercise is very, very good for your health, wellness, and longevity, it’s not the only thing to consider. What you eat is going to have a big, or bigger, impact on your shape.

Some of my favorite super-simple tips that give you the biggest “bang for your buck” are:

  •       Eat more veggies
  •       Swap the soda for soda water with fruit
  •       Cut your treats and sweets in half (and hide half) before indulging
  •       Reduce the serving size of your main meals (try using a smaller plate)
  •       Eat slower and savor it more by chewing each bite of food more thoroughly
  •       Carry around healthy (unsweetened fiber-rich) snacks like nuts, fruit, and berries


You don’t need to exercise like crazy to get into shape. I promise! But you do need to do the following:

  • Start from where you are. Don’t go overboard.
  • If you’re a beginner, that means 10 – 20 minutes every other day at an easy level.
  • Log your workout progress to track improvements and keep motivated.
  • Slowly increase the difficulty every week as you get stronger and fitter.
  • Don’t forget to eat your veggies. Reduce your serving sizes (especially treats). Carry around healthy snacks.
  • Talk with your doctor before beginning any new exercise or nutrition program.

If you are interested in more support, you can try my 4-Month Complete wellness Program. Learn to take care of the four M’s of Health: Your Mindset, Your Metabolism, Your Movement, Your Maintenance – and you will learn to provide yourself with a life full of wellness and longevity.

If that is too much of a commitment right now, you can also check out the Radiant Healthy Eating Guide. It has 60 healthy recipes, worksheet planners, and lots of health and wellness content. You will be armed with the tools to know how to prepare healthy meals, track your progress, set goals


I would love to hear your thoughts on how much exercise can benefit you. Did you learn anything different about how much exercise do you really need to get in shape? What types of exercises are your favorites? So, you see exercising 20 minutes a day can be beneficial to your health. Connect with me @Eat_Your_Nutrition on Instagram. I love seeing your photos. #EatNutrition#LauraVillanueva

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