Exercise is a crucial part of a healthy lifestyle, with benefits ranging from mental wellbeing to a longer life. If you are a person who works out regularly, you may benefit from increased strength, improved cardiovascular endurance, fat reduction, as well as an overall decrease in health risks. But how much exercise do we really need? Health experts say that this depends on what you’re looking for. You can schedule your exercise based on your health or fitness goals. The amount of exercise cannot be generalized because the response to the same exercise can vary among individuals.
The following considerations can help determine the exercise routine to meet your fitness goals:
- If Your Goal is Weight Loss: One of the most likely reasons people exercise is to shed some pounds. To lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you consume. Unless you follow a healthy diet, hitting the gym every day will not reduce your weight. If your aim is weight loss, experts recommend aiming for at least 4 to 5 hours of moderate or vigorous physical activity each week. Make sure to incorporate resistance training and strength training in addition to cardio. This will build muscle mass and boost your metabolic rate.
- If Your Goal is to Tone Up: Following a structured fitness plan can tone up your body. For that toned look, you need to have some amount of muscle on your body as well as enough fat, so that your muscles can actually be seen. However, for most normal-weight people, the muscles will not be evident unless body fat levels are fairly low. For example, exercising with kettlebells can help in weight management and if you lift a good-sized bell, it could help you gain lean muscle mass and boost your resting metabolic rate.
- To Increase Endurance: To build up your endurance, incorporate various workouts into your daily schedule. Include short runs, interval training, and strength training. A boxing training program can build muscle strength and endurance. Focus on quality not on quantity – this will make sure that you don’t over train, which will improve your performance and reduce the risk of injuries.
- If You Want to Sleep Better: Studies show that exercises play an essential part in increasing the amount of sleep you get as well as its quality. However, exercising late would have the opposite effect on some people as it produces adrenaline which would keep them wide awake for hours.
- To Improve Mental Health: Regular exercise reduces mental stress. According to research from Harvard Medical School, 35 minutes a day of brisk walking, five times a week, improves mild to moderate depression.
The key to successfully managing your fitness program is to choose the activities that best fit your goals. Don’t begin with vigorous training. Start slowly and gradually increase the level of activity.