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How Much Do You Need to Work Out?

How Much Do You Need to Work Out?

How Much Do You Need to Work Out?

It turns out that working out too often is probably not a good idea, and if you overdo it you run the risk of injuring yourself or driving yourself to eat too much to try to compensate for the energy you're always expending. You want to be in balance with your workouts for the most part unless you are highly experienced, working with a trainer, or an athlete. You'll find several different opinions on the "€œright"€ amount to work out from different professionals, so you need to be careful, and your best bet is to speak with your medical provider and a trainer to get an idea about what your workout capacity is and the types of exercises that you should be doing.

Walking is effective for a workout

One thing to remember is that if you get a lot of walking exercise on a regular basis that you won't have to work out as strenuously as other people who are more sedentary. Jobs that require you to move around are great for keeping you fit. You'll still have to watch your diet to avoid weight gain of course, but if you are an active person in your daily life you can pretty safely follow the minimum requirements for exercise and at least be able to maintain a healthy weight. A study that was published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine in 2006 found that walks after dinner were even more effective than long workouts at reducing triglyceride levels and body fat after a meal. Walking is also easier on your joints and you can often do it for a longer period of time than running, especially if you aren't used to running. So if you're in the habit of walking a lot be sure to keep this habit up and supplement it with the minimum recommended weekly workout.

Get at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week

Mayo Clinic recommends that you get at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week, or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week. This can be broken up into three days of 50 minute moderate exercise sessions or three 25 minute exercise sessions. You can increase your exercise to up to 300 minutes per week but you shouldn't exceed this amount. Moderate exercise can include activities like walking at a brisk pace, mowing the lawn, and swimming. Vigorous exercise would include running, strength training, climbing, using weight machines or other intense workouts. Working out at least 30 minutes per day of pretty much any type of exercise is another option, and there are several different approaches to it, but the most important thing is consistency.

Consistency is more important than anything

It really isn't about how hard you work out or the duration, but being consistent is more important than anything. Most people fall off the wagon after a few weeks or a few months of working out. You don't want to burn yourself out, which happens to a lot of people when you try to work out too hard. You have to show up at the gym or work out even when you completely aren't feeling like doing it. Working out consistently will help you maintain a healthy weight, lower your blood pressure, and maintain a healthy cardiovascular system. Even if your workouts consist of light exercise, it is better to be consistent with them than to take breaks, because during those break periods your metabolism can slow down and your cardiovascular system can suffer. It will also be more difficult to get started with your workouts again.

High intensity interval training is highly effective for staying in shape

If you aren't a fan of lengthy workouts, you should definitely try high intensity interval training. Although these workouts are far from easy, they can limit the amount of time that you spend in the gym, and once you've tried a routine for a few weeks you'll pretty quickly adjust and learn to like it. High intensity interval training is effective at increasing your natural HGH production levels and it involves short bursts of high intensity exercise followed by rest periods. For example, you might sprint for 20 seconds and rest for 20 to 40 seconds, and repeat this ten to fifteen times or more. There are hundreds of different high intensity interval training workouts that you can try, and a quick Google search can find them, but it's by far one of the best scientifically proven ways to stay healthy without having to spend hours and hours in the gym.

Do both aerobic exercise and strength training

A lot of people switch between aerobic exercise and strength training, and unless you are following some sort of specific program for adding weight or muscle mass, you should combine both of them. Strength training is important for maintaining your lean body mass when you are trying to lose weight or putting more of it on, and you should incorporate it in some way into your routine. Aerobic exercise is important for offsetting extra calories, maintaining a healthy heart and cardiovascular system, and for strengthening the joints. The amount of time that you spend on strength training is usually up to you, and you don't have to do a ton of it to be healthy. There are several high intensity interval training protocols that you can try that include both strength training and aerobic exercises.

Obese individuals may need different exercise protocols

You may need to exercise more than the recommended 150 minutes per week, and more toward the 300 minute per week recommendation if you are obese. That's why it is important to discuss your exercise requirements with your medical provider, because everyone is different and everyone has different goals with their exercise program. Obese people are recommended to work out between 150 to 250 minutes per week to lose weight, and the more exercise the better in the majority of cases. Exercising more than 250 minutes per week can result in massive weight loss. If you are obese you will definitely want to consider doing more than the recommended amount of exercise, but you will also need to meet with your medical provider before you start a new exercise routine to ensure that it is safe.

The HCG diet can be a great first step to your exercise program

If you are trying to lose weight, the HCG diet can be a great first step because you can lose up to 40 pounds in six weeks or more, and it can help improve your mobility and make working out a lot easier. If you've ever worked out with a weighted vest, you know how big of a difference just 5 to 10 pounds makes, so losing as much weight as possible before working out can really be beneficial. Losing just 5 pounds on the HCG diet will make a huge difference when it comes time to start your exercise routine, so if you are considering starting a new workout routine think about trying the HCG diet beforehand. The diet doesn't require any exercise at all and the very low calorie diet phase is only three or six weeks (your choice). Click here to get more information about the HCG or to speak to a medical provider to ask any questions that you may have.

About the author

Dr. Constance Odom, MD

8 min read