In my article “Why Time Magazine Has It Wrong”, I touched on the basic recommendations for cardiovascular, and resistance exercise. However, that does not actually answer the question of how much you (specifically) should exercise. A good trainer will use your health status, goals, and any other contributing information to determine the program frequency, intensity, time, and type of activity, or more easily remembered as F.I.T.T.
---Castro and King's study (2002) concluded that home-based, telephone-supervised programs were as effective as group- or facility-based programs in terms of increased functional capacity and adherence.---- Click here to learn more---------
Given you are healthy (no chronic conditions, free of injury), think about your goal(s). The goal will either fall into the avoidance of disease, fitness, or performance category. So here is a general breakdown:
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If your goal is fitness you do not want to start working out 3-4 times a week at a difficult intensity. While a program should be tailored to the person, beginning at the Avoidance of Disease intensity for someone who is just beginning may be most appropriate. This will provide the the person with some conditioning prior to moving into a difficult intensity training regimen.
Here’s why conditioning is important before increasing intensity:
Clark, M., Sutton B.G., & Lucett, S., NASM Essentials of Personal Fitness Training. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2014. Print
American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), retrieved from: https://www.acsm.org/docs/brochures/resistance-training.pdf