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The 30 Minute Rule: How do You Know if You Are Doing Enough?

Every body is different, so to come up with fitness guidelines that work for everyone is tough. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the minimum recommended amount of exercise for a healthy adult is 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise most days of the week and this 30 minute guideline is the one that fitness experts use as a baseline to ensure exercisers are working hard enough to see results, especially beginners who are new to exercise. But what does that actually mean, and how do you know if you are doing enough?

The 30 minute rule refers to cardiovascular exercise (running, walking, biking, etc.) as the guidelines for strength training are working your major muscle groups 2-3 times a week, on nonconsecutive days. Your strength training, however, can work into your 30 minute rule as long your intensity is high enough. (More on that later.)

The 30 minute rule sounds pretty cut and dry, but you actually have a lot of leeway. Most days of the week means 4-6, as everyone needs at least one rest day per week, but you can play with the 30 minute recommendation. Those 30 minutes can be done all in one shot, or you can break it up through out the day. Two 15 minute sessions, or three 10 minute sessions are shown to be just as effective, but it is not recommended to do anything shorter than 10 minutes for the full benefits.

Those minutes don’t mean much, however, if you aren’t making them count, which brings us to your intensity level. Intensity is a little more subjective, but the most important component to seeing results.

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April 25th, 2012

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