How much exercise do you need?

Beautiful, young woman lifting weights in a gym standing next to a mirrorExercise is an essential part of any healthy lifestyle. If you work out on a regular basis, you’ll benefit from increased strength, improved cardiovascular endurance, fat reduction, as well as an overall decrease in health risks. Yes, we all know that there are countless health benefits of exercise, but just how much exercise do we really need? It all comes down to your fitness goals. For instance, a 10k runner’s training schedule will likely be far more intense than that of the average person looking to keep fit.

So what exactly are you looking to achieve from your workout routine? We’ve listed some fitness goals below to help you determine the exercise routine that suits you best.

Goal #1: Lose weight

This is perhaps one of the most likely reasons for you deciding to work out in the first place. According to experts, you should aim for at least five hours of moderate to vigorous physical activity each week. Make sure you incorporate resistance and strength training in addition to cardio. These workouts help increase your muscle mass, which boosts your metabolic rate, meaning you’ll still burn calories even when your body is resting!

A few words of advice, though. The essence of losing weight is burning more calories than taking in. Hitting the gym every day will not reduce your weight until and unless you also take your diet seriously.

Goal #2: Tone up

Getting a toned body is by no means easier than losing weight. The definition of tone is to have some amount of muscle on your body, and have a low enough body fat so that your muscles can actually be seen. In order to tone your body, you need to follow a structured workout plan. Start by dedicating two to three days a week solely for resistance training, while sticking with your weekly cardio routine. When you’re ready to take things to the next level, add another day of strength training to work on each major muscle group, including those in your chest and shoulders, and your abdominals and biceps. Repeat the process and you’ll notice your body becoming leaner and more balanced.

Goal #3: Get better sleep

According to the National Sleep Foundation, exercise plays an integral part in increasing the amount of sleep you get, as well as its quality. If you want to catch more zzz’s, it’s best to make some time for a 30-to-45-minute run at least three times per week. But you need to watch the timing of your workout, especially in the evening. While some people do very well exercising in the late hours, others may find it harder to sleep at night, since exercise produces adrenaline that might have you laying wide awake for hours.

Goal #4: Increase endurance

If you’re planning to run a marathon, make sure you’ve done adequate preparation beforehand. You need to build up your endurance, so that you don’t get tired so easily or totally burn out during the race. In order to increase endurance, you can’t just rely on one exercise routine and ignore the others. We recommend incorporating various workouts into your daily schedule, including short runs, interval training, and strength training. And focus on quality, not quantity – this will ensure you don’t overtrain, which will improve your performance and reduce the risk of injuries.

For more workout tips and advice, get in touch with our fitness experts. We can help design an exercise program that best suits your needs.

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