- To exercise well
- To be physically active
- To maintain physical fitness
- Access to a suitable environment to exercise in
Exercise has significant effects on one's body, brain, and risks of diseases. For a full breakdown of the effects of neglect and fulfillment of this needs, please see the Effects table.
Number of MET-minutes
- Number of minutes spent exercising
- Number of metabolic equivalents (METs)
The number of MET-minutes of an exercise can be tracked by calculating the product of the number of minutes spent exercising by the number of metabolic equivalents (METs) of the exercise. Together these can be tracked daily by calculating the sum of the MET-minutes in the day.
- Calculate the length of time of the exercise in minutes.
Calculate the intensity of the exercise in metabolic equivalents (METs).
- To get a measurement of the METs of an exercise, either use a technological MET measurement tool for the exercise or estimate the METs of the exercise by comparing the exercise to other common exercises that have already been measured.
Calculate the MET-minutes of the exercise.
- Multiply the number of minutes by the number of METs.
Calculate the sum of MET-minutes in the day.
- Add together the MET-minutes of each exercise that day.
- Overall, I have been exercising and physically active.
- I have been spending a good amount of time exercising.
- I have been maintaining good physical fitness.
- I have been exercising the full extent of my body.
- I have been experiencing my body's full range of motion.
- I have been exercising to the point of perspiration and heavy breathing.
- I have not been inactive, sitting, or laying for too long.
- I have been feeling full of energy for a majority of the day.
Exercise needs vary from person to person depending on personal differences including:
- Body size and type
- Physical capabilities
- Metabolic rate
- Medical conditions
Ideally every human should
- Have access to a suitable environment to exercise in
- Calculate and understand personal exercise needs
Fulfill personal exercise needs daily (and weekly)
- Exercise for the amount of time and at the intensity necessary for one's body to maintain the physical fitness and activity it needs
- Track exercise needs daily and/or weekly
Set daily and/or weekly exercise goals based on personal needs
- Build and maintain healthy, consistent exercise patterns and habits
- Exercise at a high intensity (greater than 6 or 7 METs) at least twice or thrice a week
Calculate how much exercise you need every day. While the methods of achieving this calculation are imprecise, general guidelines suggest a goal of at least 100 MET-minutes a day or, for increased health gains, upwards of 500 MET-minutes. In a week, this might be approximated at 600–1200 MET-minutes for a minimum or 3000–4000+ MET-minutes for greater health gains. Additionally, you should exercise at a high intensity above 6 or 7 METs at least twice or thrice a week for substantial health benefits.
Be realistic with your goals based on your personal factors. Factors that might decrease one's daily and weekly MET-minute goals include old age or decreased abilities to exert excessive expenditures of energy due to medical conditions. Factors that might increase one's MET-minute goals include greater risks for health related problems or a lower metabolic rate. Define your own exercise needs based on your personal factors and set high goals to strive for more MET-minutes. The more MET-minutes achieved, the greater the health benefits.
Be intentional about exercising regularly, ensuring your physical activity will provide your body with the number of MET-minutes you need.
Mindfully balance your weekly exercise needs. If you have been neglecting physical activity for a day or two, then try to exercise for a longer period of time. Similarly, if you have not recently experienced high intensity activity this week to the point of sweating and increased heart rate, then try to exercise with a vigorous intensity activity.
Try to measure your exercise daily or at least weekly to track your needs.
To further understand these principles in action, see a real life example of calculating, tracking, and fulfilling this need.
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