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How much exercise do we really need?

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We´re living very fast paced times and very busy lives so how much time do we need to exercise or how long our workouts should be is a question I get asked a lot. The problem is, if your goal is to maintain optimal health and a lean physique you need to be as physically active as possible throughout the day.

For the past years our habits and routines had change a lot, we´ve become more sedentary, we literally spend long hours sitting in front of a computer working or on the couch watching TV whether it´s movies or series or in the car traveling from home to the office and back again. Processed and fast food is also a huge part of our lives making it easy for us to eat something while we´re in the car travelling to any destination, when we´re at the office or at home working or when we´re watching our favorite tv series, movie or sport. This is the recipe for diseases.

Research and studies show that you need around 20 to 30 minutes of exercise every day, other studies show that with 8 minutes of HIIT per week you can improve and maintain a fit and healthy body. Both of this options are beneficial the problem is you can´t schedule 30 minutes a day or 5 minutes of HIIT for exercise and then sit for the rest of the day, as I mentioned in a past post, sitting is a disease and I´m not the only who thinks this. We´re not meant to spend long hours sitting or laying on the couch or bed, we´re meant to be physically active throughout the day.

So, how much exercise do we really need? For resistance training I would say around 45 minutes to 60 minutes 4 to 5 days a week, you don´t need more time for this type of exercise, but you need to keep the intensity high and challenge yourself, every workout needs to be challenging and you need to make progress by adding more weight or more reps or one more set. You don´t need to do different exercises for each muscle group, with 3 or 4 you can get a great workout if you´re training with the right intensity. A great strategy is to keep your workouts simple but effective, focus on what matters, keep what works this is one of those cases where less is more you just need to make sure that you do your best.

Now that you schedule those 60 minutes for resistance training let say 5 days a week you also need to find ways to stay physically active throughout the day, think of another 45 to 60 minutes of daily physical activity 7 days a week. Yes, every day. You don´t need to do those 45 to 60 minutes all at once and I don´t recommend it, what I recommend is that you divide those 60 minutes in 2 to or 3. You can do 15 minutes right when you wake up before breakfast, another 15 minutes after lunch and 15 minutes after dinner, there you have 45 minutes, if you have time for more you can add the other 15 minutes left to hit the 60 minutes. For this the best option is walk. Go for a 15 minutes walk in the morning, another 15 minutes walk after lunch and a last 15 minutes walk after dinner.

Another great option is to get up and walk during phone calls and also get up and walk a couple of minutes every hour. If you have a desk job and you can get up and go for small walks, try to do it every hour.

This may seem like a lot and you may be thinking you don´t have that much time, in reality most of us have enough time to get more physical activity during the day but we spend too much time on social media, take a couple of days to be aware of everything you do during your day from the moment you wake up until you go to sleep. Write on a book or piece of paper how much time you spend on social media, watching or reading news, how much time you spend watching tv, how much time you spend just thinking about nothing. Most of us have enough time to go for at least a 10 minute walk after dinner and we can fit another 10 minute walk in the morning or after lunch, start with those 20 minutes I´m sure you can reduce the time you spend on social media ad watching news and I´m sure taking those 10 minutes walks twice a day will give you a lot more benefits.

Start this small walks throughout the day and stick to them for a couple of weeks, then let us know how you feel by leaving a comment down below and on Twitter. Be aware of your mood, attitude and energy.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

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