120 Minutes of Exercise a Week Leads to More Energy, Improved Cognitive Function, Increased Weight Loss and a Longer Life
Exercising isn’t necessarily something that a lot of people look forward to, especially not for those of us who are somewhat out of shape.
However, a few studies have shown that exercising for just 120 minutes a week, even when it’s relatively light exercise, can have significant health benefits. Something as simple as moderately-paced walking satisfies the 2 hour guideline, with even more benefits coming from longer exercise periods.
The Harvard Health Blog claims that 2 hours of exercise a week can noticeably improve how your brain works. Everything from memory to mental health being affected in a positive way, with a regimen that mainly involved walking. Keeping yourself active, even with light to moderate exercise, helps keep your energy levels up since your cardiovascular system is constantly working to improve its efficiency. It works the same way that it would with a marathon runner – the more you do it, the easier it is to do. You will not get winded as easily during your exercise routines nor will you tire out as quickly during the rest of your daily life.
In order to lose weight in a healthy fashion, exercise needs to be part of your overall health plan. Devoting 2 hours a week to at least some light exercise goes a long way in order to burn calories. For the average overweight individual, 120 minutes of exercise will burn anywhere between 400-1200 calories depending on the intensity. Exercising in conjunction with an approximately 12000 calorie weekly diet can lead to significant weight loss over a period of a few months.
Living longer is a benefit of exercise that you won’t realize right away but your body will thank you for it decades into the future. As little as 90-120 minutes of walking a week helps keep your cardiovascular system flexible and healthy (many of the benefits of exercise go back to heart health), improving your blood flow both now, and later in life when arteries start to harden.
If you’re serious about just starting somewhere when it comes to exercise, 20 minutes of walking everyday is a great place to start if you are completely inactive now. For those who experience joint pain or who are significantly overweight, swimming may be the best bet since even treading water can give you the same benefits as walking. As you lose weight, the stress on your joints should be reduced to the point where the pain will either subside or go away completely.