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Aerobic exercise: What's the best frequency for workouts?By Mayo Clinic staff
Original Article: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/aerobic-exercise/AN01947
- With Mayo Clinic physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist
Edward R. Laskowski, M.D.read biographyclose window
Edward R. Laskowski, M.D.Edward R. Laskowski, M.D.
Dr. Edward Laskowski is certified by the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, including subspecialty certification in sports medicine, and is a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine. He is co-director of the Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Center and a professor at College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic.
He has been on the staff of Mayo Clinic since 1990 and specializes in sports medicine, fitness, strength training and stability training. He works with a multidisciplinary team of physical medicine, rehabilitation and orthopedic specialists, physical therapists, and sports psychologists.
Dr. Laskowski is an elite-level skier and an avid hiker, cyclist and climber. He approaches sports medicine from the perspective of a physician and an athlete.
In 2006, President George W. Bush appointed Dr. Laskowski to the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, and he has received a Distinguished Service Award from the Department of Health and Human Services for his contribution to the Council.
Dr. Laskowski was a member of the medical staff of the Olympic Polyclinic at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and has provided medical coverage for the Chicago Marathon. He serves as a consulting physician to the National Hockey League Players' Association and is a featured lecturer at the American College of Sports Medicine's Team Physician Course.
Dr. Laskowski, a Cary, Ill., native, has contributed to Mayo Clinic's CD-ROM on sports, health and fitness, a website guide to self-care, and hundreds of Mayo Clinic articles and booklets in print and online. He is a contributing editor to the "Mayo Clinic Fitness for EveryBody" book, and he has presented lectures throughout the world on health, fitness and sports medicine topics. His teaching expertise has been recognized by his election to the Teacher of the Year Hall of Fame at Mayo Clinic.
"There are many myths and misconceptions about exercise and fitness in general, and also many traditions that don't stand up to scientific scrutiny," he says. "My goal is to provide the most up-to-date and accurate information on sports medicine and fitness topics in a way that you can practically incorporate into your life."
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Aerobic exercise: What's the best frequency for workouts?
Which is better — 30 minutes of aerobic exercise every day, or one hour of aerobic exercise three times a week?
from Edward R. Laskowski, M.D.
Longer, less frequent sessions of aerobic exercise have no clear advantage over shorter, more frequent sessions of activity. Any type of aerobic activity contributes to cardiovascular fitness. In fact, even divided "doses" of activity — such as three 10-minute walks spread throughout the day — offer aerobic benefits. What's most important is making regular physical activity part of your lifestyle.
For most healthy adults, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends:
- At least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity (think brisk walking or swimming) or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity (such as running) — preferably spread throughout the week. Activity sessions should be at least 10 minutes long.
- Strength training exercises at least twice a week.
If you want to lose weight or meet specific fitness goals, you may need to increase your activity even more.
The bottom line? The more active you are in general, the greater the benefits — whether you choose longer, less frequent workouts or shorter, more frequent workouts.Next question
Exercise: How much do I need every day?
- Laskowski ER (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Aug. 4, 2010.
- 2008 physical activity guidelines for Americans. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. http://www.health.gov/paguidelines/pdf/paguide.pdf. Accessed Feb. 6, 2009.