On a journey to a healthier lifestyle, we often will say to ourselves, “I’m going to workout more.” Yet, how much exercise is necessary to achieve the health benefits we are looking for? The American Heart Association recommends that for overall cardiorespiratory fitness, the average person should workout out for 30 minutes at moderate intensity 5 days a week for a total of 150 minutes a week. This could include going for a jog, participating in a sport you love, riding a bike, or a Fitness Inspired boot-camp workout (my personal fav!). The AHA also suggests that 2 of those days should include Moderate- to high-intensity muscle-strengthening activity. Muscle strengthening is anything that makes your muscles work, so that could include lifting weights, using resistance bands, performing body weight exercises, etc. For even more extensive health benefits, the Athletics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA) actually suggests doubling the 150-minute recommendation to 300 minutes a week, making your workouts a little longer.
So you might be saying to yourself, “I only have been working out 2 or 3 days consistently for the past couple of weeks! How am I supposed to do 5 days a week?” or “My workouts are only 20 or 30 minutes at a time, how am I supposed to do more?!” At Fitness Inspired, we are all about progress, so here are a couple of action steps to get you on the right track.
Step 1: Dedicate to 1 more work out than you are already doing!
If you have been exercising consistently for 3 days a week, commit to 4 days a week.
Step 2: Schedule your workouts with one extra session planned.
If you are committing to 4 days a week, schedule 5. That way, if life gets in the way of one of your workouts and you simply can not workout when you scheduled, you have a little bit of lee-way with one extra workout planned.
Step 3: Celebrate your victories and move past the slip-ups.
If it’s the end of the week and you completed all of your workouts, treat yourself. Read a good book, take a bubble bath, or go to your favorite park with your family. However, if you don’t get every workout in, note your mistakes and move on. Don’t be hard on yourself; instead, learn from where you went wrong, apply it to the next week, and just push just a little harder during your next workout.
Sources: American Heart Association: Recommendations for Physical Activity in Adults
Athletics and Fitness Association of America
I am a passionate, adventure-seeking, fitness entrepreneur who loves having fun, my family and friends, a challenge, and creating a positive impact (to name a few :))!