Is 150 minutes the magic workout number?

Is 150 minutes the magic workout number?

If you ever feel guilty about cramming your workout into a couple of sessions rather than spreading it out during the week, experts say not to worry. The health benefits are the same as long as you go for 150 minutes.

Researchers at Queen’s University, Ontario, say adults who accumulate 150 minutes of exercise on just a few days are “not any less healthy than adults who exercised more frequently throughout the week.”

Study leaders followed about 2,300 Canadian adults to determine whether frequency of their exercise had an impact on their risk for major health threats such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

“The findings indicate that it does not matter how adults choose to accumulate their 150 weekly minutes of physical activity,” says Dr. Ian Janssen in a news release. “For instance, someone who did not perform any physical activity on Monday to Friday but was active for 150 minutes over the weekend would obtain the same health benefits from their activity as someone who accumulated 150 minutes of activity over the week by doing 20-25 minutes of activity on a daily basis.”

All of the study participants exercised at least 150 minutes. The subjects then were divided into those who were active at least five days a week and the others who were active from one to four days per week. The resulting health benefits were the same, study leaders said.

Some sports medicine specialists any exercise, whether it’s more or less than 150 minutes or not, is better than being sedentary

Ed Bendoraitis, exercise physiologist at Advocate Good Samaritan Health and Wellness Center in Downers Grove, Ill, believes that fitting a cardio workout into your day, no matter the length, is important for heart health.

“Whether you squeeze in short workouts throughout the day or have the time to do a 30-45 minute workout, you are taking steps to better your health,” he says. “Exercise helps control your blood pressure and can help prevent against future heart disease.”

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  1. Lisa Parro

    That still seems like a big commitment. My goal is 40 mins, 3 days a week, which is only 120 mins.

  2. Melanie McLanahan July 22, 2013 at 1:19 am · Reply

    Your body is rented to you for such a short time. 150 minutes per week is a small amount of time to “pay” to live in it. Additionally, exercise increases brain function, guards against dementia, along with a myriad of other benefits. 150 minutes is the least we can “pay.” You’re going to be in this body (if you’re lucky) for a long time.

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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.