How Long Should I Work Out Each Day?

Some sites suggest an hour a day, others say a half hour will do. Some say you won’t get any benefit under an hour, other sites say a workout can be as short as 10 minutes several times a day to get a benefit. It’s no wonder many of our clients in Livermore, Pleasanton and Dublin, CA are confused and often ask, “How long should I work out each day?” There’s a reason much of the information is conflicting or vague. Your workout time will vary based on the type of workout you do, your level of intensity and your ultimate goal.

Intensity counts.

If you want to get the same results as you would from a higher intensity, you’d have to exercise longer at a lower intensity. The Department of Health and Human Services recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise every week at a minimum, which is about 30 minutes a day if you use five days for aerobics and two days for strength building. If you do a vigorous workout, you only need 75 minutes a week for minimum. Most people want more than just basic survival fitness, a half hour a day high intensity training, five days a week or 45 minutes to an hour of low intensity steady state exercise should help you get in shape faster.

HIIT training can be shorter than steady state workouts.

What is HIIT? HIIT stands for high intensity interval training. It’s effective and done by varying the level of intensity to maximum capability for a few seconds to a few minutes back down to a recovery phase for an equal or longer time, where your intensity decreases and your heart rate decreases, then back into the high intensity phase. This type of workout gets you into shape faster and the workout doesn’t have to be as long as a steady state workout. In fact, a half hour is effective, compared to 45 minutes to an hour. You can use it with any type of exercise, including walking!

What’s your goal?

A boxer training for a big fight will workout far longer than a secretary who just wants to get rid of office butt or the flat butt syndrome that occurs when you sit too long. A boxer will average three hours a day to reach his or her peak potential, while longer than 2 hours for the average person is too long. If you have a medical condition, such as heart or joint problems, always check with your health care provider first and ask for his or her recommendation first.

  • Most people find that doing aerobic workouts Monday, Wednesday and Friday and strength training Tuesday and Thursday is a perfect way to schedule their exercise time.
  • Do strength training at least twice a week. Never do strength training two days in a row, give your muscles at least a day for recovery before your next session.
  • Working out at the same time every day helps get you into the habit of exercise. If you miss a workout day, don’t double the amount the next day, use one of the days off as a replacement.
  • On your days away from the gym, if you want to boost your results, do something fun, yet active. Go dancing, ride a bike, or take a hike in the woods. Having more fun and feeling great is the ultimate goal of getting into shape.

For more information, contact us today at LIV Fitness

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