How Much Time Should You Really Spend On Working Out?
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It’s All About The Right Balance
When you’ve got a fancy lehenga to fit into before wedding season, spending every free minute sweating it out in the gym may seem like the most conducive solution. But the truth is, exercising too much won’t do your body much good—though hitting snooze button on the alarm clock and promising yourself that you’ll do better tomorrow won’t do it either. Both ends of the spectrum can potentially wreak havoc on your well-intentioned fitness resolutions, which leads most to the question—what is the appropriate amount of time to exert your body in the gym? In an attempt to find the answers, we turned to Mumbai-based fitness expert, Shivani Patel, and here’s what we learned.
How much exercising is too much?
It is normal for athletes to work out for two to three hours at the gym every day to hone their skills and build their endurance levels, but the same does not stand true for regular individuals. In fact, training for too long can actually lead to diminished results over time, causing muscle fatigue, exhaustion, or worse, injury. There is no study that proves working out for two to four hours is better than an hour. Quality over quantity is key here; if you work out regularly, follow the appropriate diet and feed your body its required nutrition before, during and after your workout, you will get the desired results.
How much exercising is too less?
High intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts first made the American College of Sports Medicines List of Fitness Trends in 2014, and it remains a popular choice today for those looking to burn maximum calories in the least possible time. A typical HIIT session involves giving all your energy and maximum effort to a certain form of exercise, followed by a resting period of about 60-90 seconds. The reason that this workout trend has become a huge favourite is that it can be done with any activity: running, swimming, cycling or strength training—take your pick. Since HIIT workouts are vigorous, it is advisable to schedule it twice a week, and to avoid back-to-back sessions as you need to give your body time to recover as well.”
How much exercising is enough?
The recommended amount of exercise, according to the American College of Sports Medicine, is 60-90 minutes of moderately intense exercise for five to six days a week to lose weight. However, it is essential to bear in mind that the right amount of exercise needs to be defined individually, as it varies from person to person depending on factors such as weight, BMI, mental and physical health conditions and fitness history, as well as the desired end goal, whether it is weight loss, muscle gain or a lifestyle change.
As the rule of thumb, this is the recommended amount of time you can invest in the following exercises under normal circumstances after consulting an expert:
One hour works as a sufficient time window to work on your asanas. For best results, it is recommended to practice yoga as the first thing in the morning before breakfast.
Whether you are lifting weights, fighting resistance bands or hitting your favourite Pilates machine, an hour should help you achieve the results you need, and leave you with enough time for a quick gym selfie too.
You can safely schedule an hour’s worth of time during the day for getting your muscles in formation, without overtaxing your body.
Given the DIY nature of exercises like walking, running, jogging, cycling, rowing and aerobics, you can allot 40 minutes from your day to get your fitness mojo flowing.