How much exercise do you really need?

The answer is: 150 minutes a week. If you want to stay healthy and strong, exercise is almost a magic elixir. And while it means you may need to wake up an hour earlier or eat dinner an hour later in order to fit it into your schedule, it’s worth it. Do this faithfully, and you will significantly lower your risk of obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some types of cancer. The latest U.S. government guidelines mandate at least 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity exercise every week, which can include walking briskly, raking the yard or playing outside with the kids. That’s 30 minutes a day or even 10-minute bouts of exercise, three times a day, five days a week. If that is too much time, then speed up the pace. If you exercise vigorously — such as running, swimming laps or jumping rope — you can cut the amount of time in half. Remember this: The more exercise you do, the better you will feel.