Hi Shelly. Since your question is about “general” exercise, I’d say that most people should get some form of exercise everyday. If you’re asking specifically about weight or resistance training, my answer would be different. But in general we should get some form of exercise everyday. Most exercise guidelines would bear this out.
I agree with Joe S., for most people 1 hour a day of intentional exercise for 5 days is just what is needed.
In today’s world I don’t know to many people who can manage this though, so at a minimum I think people should be getting at least a half an hour a day up to 7 days a week mixed between cardio and weight training.
As a very general rule o’ thumb…
I give my beginning clients the target of 5 hours of accumulated “intentional exercise” per week (as opposed to ‘incidental activity’.)
If they do more, the intensity usually goes down (depends on personal goals, obviously.)
If they can’t make it to 5, the intensity typically goes up.
Whether they “serve time” an hour or two at a pop or break it into several ‘doses’ of 10 minutes here, 15 minutes there usually doesn’t matter.
The answer is completely dependent on the individuals personal goals. For general health, you need 30 minutes of activity most days of the week. For weight loss you need to be doing 60 + minutes of activity everyday. Do a lighter workout the day after a hard one… meaning if you run and do weights on Monday, just go for a walk on Tuesday.
I encourage my clients to stretch during and after a workout so that they do not forget to do it! Stretching can and should be done daily.
Most important, listen to your body and know the difference between being sore from a workout and pain. Being sore is good… being in pain is not.