How Long Should I Workout?

OK – so you want to “get into better shape”? One of the first mental hurdles to jump over is the amount of time you’ll need to commit to the process. But how long is that?

Here’s the definitive answer – IT DEPENDS!

I’m sure that wasn’t a satisfying response; so we need to dig a little deeper. What is the key factor that will determine how much time you need?

What are you doing now? 

  1. If you’ve been sedentary for quite a while and you’re just getting started (or re-started) with fitness, then even a modest amount of time invested can make a big difference. For example, is there an elevator in your life? If you have to go up a few floors to your workplace, simply take the stairs instead. Walking up and down 3 flights of stairs a few times a day WILL make a difference in your energy level and calorie burn. And that climb will require just about zero additional minutes when compared with waiting for and then riding the elevator. 

    Can you intentionally park toward the back of parking lots and take a minute to walk in to wherever you go? Just as in the elevator example, an investment of perhaps 10 minutes a day in extra walking will begin to reshape your body. And that bit of additional exercise incorporated into your daily routine will make you rethink your priorities and likely lead to even more healthy choices. 
  1. If you’re in the “intermediate” category and want to be sure that you’re really doing enough to reap the main benefits of exercise, then consider this. Edward Laskowski, M.D., quoting the Department of Health and Human Services, recommends:
  • Aerobic activity. Get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity (or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity) a week. The guidelines suggest that you spread this exercise out during the course of a week. Greater amounts of exercise will provide even greater health benefits. But even small amounts of physical activity are helpful. Being active for short periods of time throughout the day can accumulate to provide excellent health benefits. Moderate activities can include mowing the lawn, reasonably brisk walking, etc. In short, you don’t have to be gasping for breath during exercise to have a very positive effect on your health.
  • Strength training. Do strength training exercises for all major muscle groups at least two times a week. Aim to do a single set of each exercise, using a weight or resistance level heavy enough to tire your muscles after about 12 to 15 repetitions.
  1. If you are already training regularly and simply need to lose those last few pounds to hit your goal (or perhaps you want to add a few pounds to your personal best in a particular lift), then here’s some excellent news. You very likely don’t need to add ANY time to your workout regimen. Maybe the final hurdle is to make a healthy tweak to your diet. Or perhaps your training schedule needs to be amended to allow for more rest between strength workouts.

No matter where you are in your personal fitness journey, the trained and certified professionals at Premier Fitness Source can provide the consultation, support, or equipment you need to help you reach your goals. Feel free to stop in or call. We’re eager to assist!

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