How Much Exercise Do I Need?
This question largely depends on several factors as everyone is different. Your goals determine how much exercise you need. For instance, a competitive body-builder or footballer will have to train on average 6 days a week to stay in peak condition for their sport.
If you have no specific sport or competition to train for and just want to maintain a respectable level of health and fitness with no desire to compete in sport- then you will most likely not need to exercise 6 days per week and at the same intensity as the bodybuilder or footballer to achieve your goal.
In addition, Physical capability is an important factor to consider when determining how much exercise you should be doing. Just because your friends are running 10k, or cycling 50k, or doing 5 fitness classes a week, does not mean you have to. If you have no idea, ask a physical therapist or personal trainer for help in designing the best programme for you.
It is important to understand that exercise is extremely beneficial. However, not knowing the right sets, reps, and frequency can interfere with your recovery, ability to achieve your goal, and most importantly, knowing your limits.
The best place to start is with something you enjoy. Start small. If you start by joining a friend who has been running 10k’s regularly and you attempt to keep up with them, you are likely to fail, and this also increases your chances of quitting. So start with something you know you can do, and build on this.
Similarily, Age can determine the amount of exercise you may need. The current guidelines suggest approximately 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week for adults. This figure equates to about 30 mins of exercise 5 days per week. These guidelines apply to over 65’s also. Children should perform 1 hour of moderate-intensity exercise per day.
It is important to use these guidelines loosely! Remember, everyone is different, 150 minutes per week may feel like nothing to someone but also seem like a lot someone else. Use them as a minimum requirement that can be altered to suit you! Getting active and moving is the main thing, how you do it is up to you. Also, research has shown that if you meet these requirements you will experience a whole lot of amazing benefits!
Regular exercise has many benefits. Like improved sleep, sex drive, reduced risk of injury, improved pain perception, reduced risk of cancer, heart attack, and stroke- the list goes on!
Exercise is one of the few medications that we can prescribe with little to no side-effects. Exercise is medicine and can improve every aspect of your life. It can be as simple as getting out for a 20-minute walk with your dog or kicking the football around with friends. Above all, The benefits remain and do not require crazy, intense bouts of exercise to be gained. Start slow and build it up over time, seeing your own progression will motivate you to do more!
In conclusion, More is always better! Remember more does not have to mean more intense or strict. It can mean short bouts of low-moderate intensity exercise for 10 minutes 2-3 times per day. The more you move the better you will feel. As humans, we are not meant to be in the same position for long periods of time.
It is in our nature to move and be active. Understand your specific goal and physical capability and let that indicate how much exercise you should do!
And don’t be afraid to ask for help or advice!