Is There A “Right” Amount Of Exercise Time?

Most readers of are active, engaged folks who enjoy snow sports in the winter and lots of different non-snow activities in the summer.  And, most of us like to keep active, because it makes us feel good.  That’s important as we become more experienced in years.

You might wonder if the amount and intensity of the exercise you are doing is enough or too little or too much.  For what purpose, you ask.  If you want to lose weight, keep fit and nimble, then you already know the answer: If what you are doing now in the gym or on the roads or golf course gives you that bounce in your step, it’s working.  But if your goal is longevity—pushing back that time horizon—then there are some specific numbers you should pay attention to.


An April 15 New York Times article by Gretchen Reynolds reports on two different studies that now give a prescription for the amount and intensity of exercise that is linked to increased longevity.  We learned that “broad guidelines from governmental and health organizations call for 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week to build and maintain health and fitness.” For those who exercise more—450 minutes a week—then longevity goes up almost 40 percent over non-exercisers.  And, if 20 to 30 minutes of that activity switches gears from moderate to intense, the longevity number goes up even more. If that’s your goal, then those are your guidelines.

In reading readers’ comments accompanying the article, there are many who just think feeling good is a good enough reason to hit the slopes, roads, trails, links and by-ways.  What are the right numbers for you?  And why bother?  Let us know.


  1. My worry with this study is it is encouraging seniors to increase their exercise duration and intensity, regardless of their current health issues and fitness. I believe in use it or lose it, but we seniors are more prone to injury or worse, and we need support from our Doctors, Trainers and Physical therapists to guide us to maximum fitness AND LONGEVITY . My motto is always Listen To Your Body! More is not necessilarily better in all cases.

  2. Steve Hines says:

    I work out to stay fit for my outdoor activities. Any longevity benefits are a bonus. Feeling good is, indeed, a good enough reason to keep on moving.

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