When you are starting out on a health journey, your first question should be: how much exercise does one really need? The answer varies depending on your goals and your body. Let’s find out in more detail.
New year’s around the corner, and once again resolutions are flying thick and fast. One of the most common ones is “I will start exercising this year.” Unfortunately, most of these resolutions disappear as quickly as they came into existence, because we end up over-exercising, get muscle pains and burn out, and then lose hope altogether.
As people have become aware of the health benefits of exercising, they have started including exercise in their daily routine. But as with any new thing initially, there is always some confusion.
We have seen people spending hours in the gym thinking that exercising more will help them achieve their fitness goals faster. But by over-exercising, they might be doing more harm than good to their body.
The period for which one should exercise depends mostly upon their fitness goals. Whether you have to reduce your body fat, maintain your weight, develop muscles, or need help toning your body.
There are different forms of exercise for every goal, and the amount of exercise you need is different. We will discuss some of the common goals for which one exercise and the amount of time sufficient for the exercise.
Exercise For A Good Health
When it comes to diseases, especially which occur due to our negligence, prevention is always better than cure. While you can not eliminate any health issues, there are a few measures that you can take to avoid them as much as possible.
Exercising regularly can help you avoid common health issues like obesity, stroke, heart issues, diabetes, high blood pressure, and many others. Living a healthy lifestyle sure helps with it. Eating healthy food and working out daily will help you live a healthier life with fewer complications.
The US Department of Health recommends either 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous activity or 150 to 300 minutes of moderate activity per week for maintaining good health. This should also be supported with muscle-strengthening activities for at least two out of seven days a week.
Exercise For Weight Loss
Weight Loss is probably the main reason some people even think about exercising. If your goal is to lose all the excess weight, doing moderate exercises like brisk walking, cycling or yoga can help you achieve your goal weight.
Doing an hour of moderate-intensity workout five days per week is beneficial while on a weight loss journey. Also, just exercise won’t help you lose weight. You would also need to make some other changes in your lifestyle.
Instead of sitting idle at a desk, start moving. Instead of using your car and taking the stairs, walk to the nearby store instead of using lifts. Diet is an essential part of weight loss, so watch your calorie intake and burn more calories than you are eating.
You can quicken your weight loss process by exercising more, but remember that over-exerting yourself can lead to some injuries and undo all your hard work.
Exercising For A Competition
Another reason for exercise is when a person is preparing for a sports competition. Athletes need to remain in their optimum fitness to partake in several competitions and perform their best.
A runner participating in a race or a biker in a bike racing competition needs to perform intense physical activity for about 15 to 60 minutes. Also, doing high-intensity activities will increase your heart rate up to 70-80% of its normal working capacity, which can only be achieved by regular exercise. Doing aerobic exercise, strength training, and stretching are some exercises that help build your stamina if performed regularly.
Before starting any high-intensity exercise, it is always better to do a few warm-up exercises to avoid injuries. And after a workout session, it is also important to cool down so that your muscles recover faster.
Athletes have to follow a strict exercise routine while keeping an eye on their diet throughout the year to maintain their weight and shape. They have to practice for their sport for the whole day with some breaks. But when it is time for their competition, their exercise routine gets even more intense.
Can Too Much Exercise Be Harmful?
Too much of anything done can never be good. Exercising is not an exception. Doing too much exercise can lead to muscle strains and even severe injuries.
According to the CDC, an adult should engage in at least 150 minutes of exercise of moderate intensity like cycling or brisk walking every week. It is better to combine that with exercises to strengthen your muscles for at least two days per week.
They also recommend staying as active as possible, but people often think that exercising for a longer duration will help them achieve their goals faster. But that is not how it works. Studies have shown that instead of benefitting you, over-exercising can take a toll on your body.
Also, before starting any new exercise that you have never done before, it is better that you do it in the presence of a certified fitness trainer. This is to ensure that you don’t overdo the exercise and save you from any injury caused by an incorrect body posture while performing the exercise.
People with health issues like respiratory issues, heart disease, or diabetes should always consult their doctor before starting any exercise regime. They can give you a better suggestion about how much intensity of exercise your body can handle without any health risk.
Creating Your Own Exercise Routine
If you want to follow an exercise regime without overdoing it, it is better to create a plan for the week, depending on your free time and your capacity.
If you can’t handle long hours of exercising, exercising daily for a shorter amount of time would help you achieve your weekly goals. You can do 25-30 minutes of workouts daily, five to seven times a week. Also, exercising regularly will help you form a habit.
If you have a hectic schedule and can not afford to have time daily for exercising, then performing can perform a longer duration of workouts. You can increase the time of the workout to achieve your weekly goal. You can do hour-long exercise sessions on weekends and a few 30-45 long sessions during the week.
Also, it is okay if sometimes you don’t achieve your target of working out. Just remember that doing something is better than doing no exercise at all.
So, How much exercise does one really need?
We have discussed the time you should spend exercising in order to achieve specific fitness goals. Everyone’s body is different, and so is their metabolism.
What may work for one person might not produce the same result for you. So, before starting on any fitness regime, it is better to consult a certified health trainer who can make assessments about your body and plan your workout accordingly.
If you have queries about the guidelines and tips that we have discussed above, feel free to drop us a ping and we will reply very quickly. As always, if you loved the content, please share the love! Post it on your social media accounts and in your groups so that others may benefit from the knowledge.