How much exercise should I do?

It’s 2021, so it’s not surprising that many of us want to change or start a new exercise regime. As physiotherapists, patients often ask us about their exercise routine, and specifically, how much exercise they should be doing. It can be easy to think that more exercise is better, however that’s not always the case.


What’s the right amount of exercise?

So when it comes to answering this question, “how much exercise should I be doing”, unfortunately, there’s no one answer for everybody. Instead, there are some things you can take into account when finding the right amount (and right type) of exercise for you.


Benefits of exercise:

The World Health Organization states that compared to less active adults, individuals who are more active:

  • have lower rates of all-cause mortality, coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, colon and breast cancer, and depression;
  • are likely to have less risk of a hip or vertebral fracture;
  • exhibit a higher level of cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness; and
  • are more likely to achieve weight maintenance, have a healthier body mass and composition.


Exercise & injury, a fine balance:

Exercise is incredibly important for maintaining and enhancing our health, however it might not shock you to know that the way we exercise is key to either improving or worsening our odds of injury. Finding the right type of exercise for your body now, can also play a vital role in preventing joint surgery or injury later on in life. There’s no better time than right now to reassess your exercise routine and incorporate these small changes for even better results.


Mix up your workouts:

In our professional opinion as physiotherapists, we highly recommend mixing up your workouts – even more so if you’re over 40. Try to include some strength and conditioning, mobility and stretching activity, as well as mixing weight-bearing aerobic exercise (such as running) with non-weight bearing activities (such as swimming and cycling). Doing a variety of physical activities will help you get the best from your body and will help you avoid repetitive strain injuries (RSI) to specific areas of your body.


Remember to rest:

If you’re living an active lifestyle, remember to rest. Giving your body time to recover can do wonders for you in the long term. Our bones, muscles, tendons, collagen and joints need time to assimilate the impact of exercise, and this becomes even more important as we age. Provided there is adequate recovery, our bodies adapt positively to the stress of exercise, but if we batter our them too often, the outcome can be negative.

Our head physiotherapist, Aurelie Blumann likes to refer to this quote: “When demand exceeds capacity, failure occurs”. In short, exercise should help us stay fit and strong, but shouldn’t cause us to injure ourselves.


The World Health Organization’s recommendations for exercise:

As the peak body for global health, the WHO states that:

  • Adults aged 18–64 should do at least 150 minutes (30 minutes, 5 days a week) of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week;
  • Or you should do at least 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week.
  • Muscle-strengthening activities involving major muscle groups should be done on 2 or more days a week.

They also say that aerobic activity should be performed in bouts of at least 10 minutes in duration, and for additional health benefits, you should increase your moderate intensity aerobic physical activity to 240-300 minutes (4-5 hours) per week.


AB Physiotherapy group exercise classes:

If you’re looking for a way to add a little more physical activity into your week, you might like to join us for one of our group exercise classes. We run various classes throughout the week which are guided by one of our experienced physiotherapists, so you can feel confident and safe with your body. Click the button below to view our range of exercise classes & book online.

View Group Classes