How Much Exercise Should You Do Each Day
This article was first published on Active8me.
Like anything in life – we are not into harsh restrictions. Therefore, it is no surprise that we don’t recommend a specific amount of time to workout. There is no miracle 12-minute workout that will cover everything. We are all different. Different body types, different muscle types, different skills and preferences, different levels of fitness and most importantly, we all have different goals.
The amount you exercise will be determined by what you’re trying to achieve. If you’re doing an ultra marathon you’re going to have to put in long training hours. Or if you want to sculpt your body you’ll need to spend time on weights. But if you want to lose body fat and gain lean muscle you’re going to have to combine endurance and strength work. The question shouldn’t be so much about how much exercise you should do each day but what quality workouts will give you the best results for your goals?
But I just want to know how much exercise should you do each day?
Remaining ‘active’ everyday is important, especially if your job puts you at risk of cardiovascular disease with extended periods of sitting. This could mean that you include extra incidental movement in your day. Take the stairs at work, on your commute or while shopping instead of the elevator. Or, take 20 minutes of your lunch break to enjoy the benefits of a brisk walk in nature.
When it comes to specific workouts, stick to the rule of 3 to 5 challenging workouts each week interspersed with active recovery days. Generally, this will tally out at about 30 minutes exercise each day. Remember its quality over quantity that is often most effective in gaining strength, fitness and transforming your body.
While your cardiovascular health benefits most when your heart rate is raised for at least 20 minutes each day it is consistency, variety and intensity that will give you better results over sheer volume or a set number of exercise minutes.
Consistency comes from habit. If you make exercise part of your daily routine, it’s easier to remain on track with your fitness and weight loss goals. We recommend the best time to workout is first thing in the morning…even if you’re not a morning person! Why? Because science says the benefits are more likely to help you achieve your fitness and weight loss goals.
- No interruptions
- Jump start your metabolism
- You tend to eat a healthier breakfast
- You feel more energized
- Better sleep
- Better mood
So, perhaps you’ve been exercising on a daily basis for a while now and nothing seems to be improving. Your weight loss has plateaued, and you don’t seem any fitter. Sound familiar? Don’t worry, this is actually just your body becoming more efficient at your chosen exercise! This is another reason we don’t recommend doing a specific workout each day for a specific length of time.
Giving your system a shake up with a variety in movement, intensity and duration of your workout will see you gain more benefits than the same old routine. That is why the workouts in the Active8me app are designed to give you high and low intensity workouts that are mixed throughout the week – you get maximum fat burning and lean muscle building benefit.
Not every workout should be pushing you to your limit. Including 3 to 4 high intensity workouts in your week allows you to have lighter exercise days in between. We love HIIT (high intensity interval training) workouts because they give you great calorie-burning bang for your buck. These time efficient workouts are designed to elevate your heart rate to your maximal heart rate zone during the workout periods. This is why everyone’s HIIT workout is individual to them. The key to maintaining high intensity for each rep is to have adequate rest periods.
After a rhythmic style warm-up, your HIIT workout should typically take between 15 to 25 minutes. Remember a HIIT workout is all about making the high intensity part really work for you, so if your workout is going longer, you may not be pushing yourself hard enough during the ‘high intensity’ parts.
If you wanted a clear-cut answer of ‘how much exercise should you do each day?’ then you may have been disappointed. But hopefully you can see that the answer to that question is not going to give you the results you want. Stay focused on YOUR goals and tailor your exercise program around them. We know that is often harder than it sounds! That’s why Active8me takes the guesswork around exercise (and nutrition) out of it. Our workouts have been designed by Olympians, exercise scientists and fitness professionals to help you achieve what you want in the most efficient way. Check out the Active8me app today for a library of workouts.