How often should you workout?
There are quite a few different agencies setting different standards of how many days a week and for how long you should exercise for optimal health. The plethora of articles on this subject can cause a lot of confusion and I’m here to clear some things up for you.
We all live busy lives and may find it hard to dedicate a lot of time to working out. This is the main reason that devoting 30 mins a day, 5 days a week seems more realistic then 1 hour, 3 days a week. Many studies have even found that incorporating just 30 minutes of exercise into your daily routine can have outstanding effects on your health. Some even found that you can receive equal benefits from these 30 mins session, 5 days a week, compared to 1-hour sessions, 3 times a week. A few of the reasons were as follows: People still had extra energy to stay productive throughout the rest of their day, after only 30 minutes sessions. There was also an increase in appetite and over consumption shown in those who completed 1-hour workouts. People overall found it easier to incorporate 30 mins of exercise into daily routines over 1 hour sessions. Point is, that in just 30 mins of exercise every day, we can gain so many positive benefits for both our physical and mental health. Below I have listed quite a few of these benefits that should surely make you considering incorporating AT LEAST 30 mins of exercise into your daily routine.
Your metabolism speeds up instantly during exercise and allows you to naturally burn more calories throughout your day. Your energy levels also increase due to the boost in oxygen and blood circulation to your muscles and other organs in our bodies. This increase in oxygen and blood circulation also helps to improve your sleep, which in turn leaves you feeling more rested and filled with energy. Your bodies increase in the production of norepinephrine, a stress relief hormone, during exercise decreases stress hormones and anxiety, which leave you feeling more relaxed. The increase in the release of endorphins during exercise will also give you a “runners high” or the feeling of euphoria for hours following your workout. This in turn gives your mental health a boost, in which you begin to have higher levels of confidence and thoughts of self-worth. Gaining strength and fitting better into your clothes, after beginning a daily workout routine, also provides you with a sense of accomplishment. This naturally keeps us more motivated in the gym and in our work. Lastly but most importantly, all of these things lead to a substantially lower risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and stroke.
Now, if you are only able to dedicate 30 mins a day to your routine, it’s important to choose exercises that increase your heart rate and keep it increased during your entire workout. These types of exercise include, but aren’t limited to, high intensity interval training, swimming, and cycling. During exercise, for optimal weight loss, you want to keep your heart rate in your fat burn zone, which can be calculated by taking 220 minus your age multiplied by 70% or .70. Staying between 70 and 80 percent of your max heart rate (formula above) is classified as your fat burn zone. This is the point at which your body consumes fat as its primary energy source, meaning that your body is naturally blasting that belly fat versus using other sources, such as protein.
Overall the length and frequency of your workout really depends on the amount of time you have to dedicate to your fitness goals, your fitness goals themselves, and also your level of fitness. Just know that getting into any kind of fitness routine will benefit your health drastically, even at just 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. The hardest part is just getting started. That’s where the other fitness staff and I come in. We are here to motivate you and keep you accountable to your goals. If you are interested in beginning your fitness journey and just have no idea where to start, please contact us at Fit Therapy of Texas. We make working out, losing weight, and gaining muscle easy.
Kaley Hallowich NCSF CPT NCCPT BS MS
Body Transformation Specialist