How Much Exercise Should I do?
My short answer is as much as you can do within reason. I know what I’ve just said is pretty vague and, for some, not much help at all. But bear with me, by the end of this blog, I promise you will have a definitive answer.
99% of the people I personally train lead busy lives and have many other commitments that have taken priority above their health and fitness which is one of the reasons they come to me; to be their health and fitness enforcer. A personal training session or two with me per week is a great start having not partaken in any regular exercise for a while. It’s not optimal for health and fitness, but it’s a damn sight better than zilch.
When trying to set and form new habits it’s more effective and more likely to work if you start by making it extremely easy to achieve, so I give my clients the jurisdiction to set their own weekly target. I ask “how many exercise sessions can you absolutely guarantee you can do this week?” The answer varies depending on each individual, but most say between 2 and 3 sessions. This way I ensure that my clients succeed along every step of their journey by letting them set very realistic and achievable goals.
Ideally, to see the best results, they would need to be exercising for 30 minutes of moderate exercise every day (for optimal health and longevity that is, and not necessarily peak cardiovascular fitness). But that would be totally unrealistic and unachievable, leading to de-motivation and a feeling of failure (yet again) at trying to be healthier and fitter.
My answer for you is to strive for 30 minutes of daily activity such as walking, swimming, jogging, cycling, sports and to start off by committing to a weekly goal that is so easy it’s a no-brainer, for example, a couple of 15-minute exercise sessions a week and build up the duration and frequency from there. This way, not only will you be forming a habit, building success upon success and consequently feeling motivated, but it also will give your body (muscles, bones and connective tissue) the time to adapt to more activity. A marathon runner does not start out running 70 miles in the first week of their training plan for good reason, they build slowly and progressively!
Matt Jordan – the Energy Coach