For some, a 30 minute workout is perfect. Others need a longer session in the gym to achieve their fitness goals. So how do you know how much exercise you really need? Read on to learn how you can create a custom exercise plan.
I am a firm believer that there is no generic recommendation when it comes to fitness. We are all people with preferences of our own, especially when it comes to getting in shape. We all have a unique body type (unless you have an identical twin), and so we also have different needs and goals.
The amount of exercise you need depends on your overall goal. What may be a good weekly exercise plan for you may not be for someone else. Let me help you find a nutrition and exercise plan that fits your schedule and your current fitness level.
How much exercise do we need?
There are several sources that recommend 150 minutes of exercise per week (approximately 30 minutes five times a week) for weight loss and general well-being. This is classified as moderate to vigorous physical activity.
However, let’s say your goal is to run a marathon. In this case, you would need to train much more than 30 minutes a day. If your goal is to lose weight or improve your overall fitness level, 30 minutes may be sufficient.
Spend more time customizing your training
It is important that we all strive to achieve the minimum recommended amount of activity. If you think about it, 30 minutes is a relatively short time commitment and an achievable goal.
I think that while a 30 minute workout is adequate to reap the health benefits associated with exercise, you could try a longer routine.
This is the reason:
- About 50 to 60 minutes a day will allow you to focus a little more on yourself.
- This additional time may include a warm-up or cool-down.
- You don’t need to rush your workout. Take a break, stay hydrated , and include the necessary sports supplements for your plan.
- You can get into the habit of keeping an exercise journal .
- You will have more time to prepare a healthy post-workout snack .
Your weekly exercise plan shouldn’t be stressful. It is counterproductive to have to rush right after your exercise routine. I think that somehow it ruins the good mood that physical activity can produce in you.
Know your limits: Why exercising too much can backfire
When it comes to exercise, abusing a good thing can ruin it. Overdoing your training can be just as damaging as doing nothing. Here are several reasons why exercising too much can affect you:
Excessive exercise can halt your weight loss goals
Taking your routine to the extreme can slow down your metabolism, as your body tries to preserve its energy, causing you to burn fewer calories. Additionally, increasing your intensity level without sufficient breaks can stimulate the release of cortisol, a stress hormone linked to weight gain.
Your muscles need to recover
Exercise causes small tears in the muscle fibers, and as the muscles heal, the muscles grow. Without a necessary period for recovery and proper nutrition, the muscles will not regenerate properly. Therefore, you should give yourself time to rest, stretch and recharge, and thus make your muscles recover faster .
Exercising excessively can be bad for your overall health
Extreme cases of over-exercise can result in exhaustion, dehydration, severe injury, and even rhabdomyolysis , a situation that occurs when muscle tissue breaks down, causing muscle fibers to enter the bloodstream, risking liver damage.
How Much Exercise Is Too Much?
Limiting your intense training regimen to 3-4 days a week, allowing one or two days off is a great idea. You need to be aware and combine the intense exercise regimen with proper nutrition. Learn how proteins, carbohydrates, and fats influence your athletic performance.
Only you know your body well, so my advice is that you always pay attention to how it feels. Push yourself hard enough, but not to the point of exhaustion.
Create a consistent exercise plan each week
Exercise offers the best results when you are consistent with your routine. I think it should just be part of an overall wellness strategy to improve your life.
I invite you to be active, to keep a diary to record your minutes , and to accomplish at least the minimum healthy activity each week. If you are a fan of exercise, be sure to take time to recover.
This is my personal training and rest program, so you have an idea of how I plan my week:
- Monday: running and going to the gym, high intensity level
- Tuesday: cycling and yoga, moderate intensity level
- Wednesday: Interval Training with Body Weight, High Intensity
- Thursday: active rest day for a fun walk or hike, low intensity level
- Friday: cycling and running, moderate intensity level, but long duration
- Saturday: active rest day for swimming with the family, paddle boarding, low intensity level
- Sunday: rest
I regularly adjust the intensity level and duration of the workout to make sure my routine is fun and not stressful.