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How to Get Started with Your Own Exercise Plan

How to Get Started with Your Own Exercise Plan

By Meagan Kline

Jun 3, 2015

Updated Nov 17, 2023

5 min read


Frequency: How often you exercise

  • For cardio, the goal is 150 minutes per week of aerobic activity.  This works out to be roughly 30 minutes of exercise, 5 days per week.
  • For strength training, the goal is to work each major muscle group once per week on non-consecutive days per week.

Intensity: How hard you exercise

  • The goal is to work within a moderate workload.  Try the talk-test while exercising:  you are able to talk and carry on a conversation with a friend while walking, but you don’t have enough air to sing.  This helps you to stay in the right range. 

Time: How long you exercise

  • The American Heart Association suggests getting 30 – 60 minutes of aerobic on most days of the week.  At a minimum, aim for 150 minutes per week. 

Type: The type of activity you do

  • Any activity that gets your heart rate up counts as cardio.  This includes walking, swimming, dancing, Zumba, cycling, etc.
  • For strength training, this includes any exercise using resistance.  This could include bands, dumbbells, machines and your own bodyweight!  Building strength will require more resistance.