How Much Exercise Do I Need?

How Much Exercise Do I Need?

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I get asked, often, “how much exercise do I need?

There is an answer to this, but it is more complicated than simply throwing a number into the ring. It depends on what your goals are, how fit you are, many factors. There is a start point though.

Guidelines for the NHS suggest that for optimal health (i.e. protection and reduction of the risk of illness, disease, muscle wastage and osteoporosis), that you complete 150 minutes of moderate intensity cardio every week, and 3 full body (major muscle groups) resistance workouts. They also state that moderate intensity means that you are working so hard you can’t sing along to the music (there is a reason I encourage singing…!!!).

So 2.5 hours of cardio and three weight training sessions….

That sounds like a lot doesn’t it?

How much are you doing?

Are you doing them both or do you favour one over the other?

I see many people in classes that I don’t then see in the gym, and vice versa. For some, cardio is the most fun that can be had and they embrace back-to-back cardio classes, relishing the high numbers they see in the “calories burned” part of their fitness tracker.

For others, cardio hurts, it makes you out of breath and sweaty. They may prefer the gym environment with less intensity to their workout. They may be aware that weight training builds muscle, which in turn increases metabolic rate. They may know that although the calories burned number is smaller initially, their metabolic rate is raised for a couple of days after the workout.

And some (a smaller number) combine both.

This provides the optimal health and fitness benefits; improved heart lung function, health protection, muscle building, increased metabolic rate. But if you aren’t sure where to start with weight training, try finding a way of learning weight training skills in an environment that motivates you. FitKat offers a ladies only small group weight training programme ideal to give you a starting point, as well as small group bootcamps (circuit style training in the privacy of a studio, limited to 8 ladies).

If you like classes, you should consider a class that delivers both cardio and resistance elements. Circuit training style classes do both cardio and strength, getting both elements of the recommended exercise into one class, reducing the time you need to spend at the gym.

Any moving is good. Enjoying it means you’ll stick at it.

Sticking at it is the key.

So what are your thoughts about my advice?

Please leave a comment, as I would love to hear from you and if you like this article please share on social media.

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