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In todays training show I’m covering Is There A Right Amount Of Exercise? …and my answer may surprise you with this one because I’m going to say a big YES.
Yes, there is a right amount of exercise.
Ok, let’s get rolling with the caveats because I’m not going to stick with the minimal twenty minutes of aerobic exercise, 3-4 times a week, at moderate exertion that is recommended in places OR the higher end 30 minutes a day with a couple of days off each week (so around 150 minutes per week).
In the same way that my Mr Right is most likely NOT going to be your Mr Right (!) my right amount of exercise isn’t necessarily going to bring out the best in you either.
Your right, is what you can commit to each week consistently for a predetermined block of time. So perhaps a block of a month, or perhaps 12 weeks or maybe even a period of years as it has been for me.
Let’s get a little more specific,
In scenario one: The One Month Block.
This works when you really feel like you want to make exercising (AND eating great quality fuel – because you’re wasting your time if your sole focus is exercise and you have a fat loss goal) your number one priority. You are ready to see some serious results and ready to make the sacrifices to make it happen – Yes that’s not usually the language I would choose however here it’s appropriate.
In a short one month block the goal is to see some motivating results. It’s a sustainable period of time to let your health goal take priority – to perhaps skip a few dinners out, if you know a late night is going to jeopardise you’re chances of making your early am training session.
An hour or even 2 a day might be doable for this period of time. However for most people it’s just a kick-start, you’re going to want to ease-back to something more manageable at the end of the month.
Considerations for the 1-2 hours a day approach:
=> You’re going to have to split your programming to avoid overuse injuries and boredom. Most of us can’t handle running day after day, my knees aren’t up for it and neither are my interest levels. Equally with weights a full body routine day after day is a recipe for zero results. The good stuff happens at rest. The solution is to split the body parts you train each day.
=> It’s important to be aware – very aware – of your food intake before you up the exercising anti. More exercise and more food can easily lead to zero results OR just as easily to fitter and fatter. I covered fitter and fatter in show #008. The most important consideration is to not fall victim to the carb-over-REfuel after you increase your exercise. It is way too easy to eat in excess of the calories deficit you just created even in a 2 hours a day exercise routine.
In scenario two: The Few Months Block.
This is a realistic period of time to see some pretty great results. If you have 3 – 6 – 12 months to play with I would look to commit to a exercising schedule each week consistently that you can imagine might be sustainable even longer term.
No pressure. Lock and load it for the predetermined number of months, whatever is aligned with your goal or schedule right now and then at the end of that period you can assess whether the results to effort ratio stacks up.
So again this may be 30 minutes day 6 days a week as I recommend in my online body gain program. I like this as:
A). It’s achievable – you can find 30 minutes a day for exercise by cutting 30 minutes a day of something less valuable than exercise.
B). It’s enough to build a habit and see results.
C). The 6 days you exercise and 1 day you take a planned rest day removes any pesky ‘Will I?” “Won’t I?” self negotiation.
Or it may be more or less as you feel is manageable. Again I always recommend deciding what is doable for you not on the most-perfect-running-exactly-to-plan-IDEAL-week however rather on the regular-average-perhaps-slightly-frustrating-week.
Considerations for the 30 minutes a day (or whatever you choose for a few months) approach:
=> Focus and Intensity are always important however the less time you have to play with the more important they become. How to know if you’re training hard enough? I devoted a whole show to it back in episode #089.
=> Exercise will get a little less exciting… Yes, sadly the honeymoon phase wears off! HOWEVER, the awesome thing is that as you get a fews weeks and months into your body gain journey you’ll start to gather reference point for success so far as what works for you and you’ll also get better at the mind games you need to play with yourself to get your exercise groove on on those struggle-street days when it’s far from easy.
In scenario three: The Few Years Block.
This is when your exercising routine becomes a part of your lifestyle. You KNOW what works for you. Sometimes it happens fairly naturally and sometimes you have to work for it a little harder.
You know you feel, look and function best when you stick to this exercising routine. It adds to rather than detracts from your quality of life.
Talking numbers? Well this may be 30 minutes day 6 days a week or 45 minutes a day 4 days a week or an hour a day 6 days a week… the only RIGHT is the right we started with: What you can commit to each week consistently.
Considerations for the 30-60 minutes a day (or whatever you choose for a few years) approach:
=> Your exercise time is Precious YOU Time. This is the attitude I default to if a hint of lazy wants to muscle it’s way into my week… an appreciation that I even am in a positive to commit to precious, indulgent me time via exercise. Also, gratitude that I have the time, health and financial capacity to make it happen.
=> There is right and there is less-right-yet-good-enough-for-now. Occasionally ‘good enough’ is all you’ve got. It’s always better than nothing.
Only you can be the judge of this – whether ‘good enough’ is being genuine or lazy – however the previous point, the appreciation of exercise as precious you time should make this an easy call to make.
We must be at the time of the actionable.
Ok, for todays action step I’d love you to decide: What amount of exercise you can commit to each week consistently for a predetermined block of time.
The hours each week and the number of weeks/months in your block of time are whatever feels doable for you right now.
Consistency and the ability to set a target and stick to it are the most valuable factors in this action step. If you want to throw accountability into the mix then share your target weekly exercise hours and block of time in the comments below and you’ll have this accountability queen on your team!
That’s it for me today, big thanks to you for spending this time with me and I hope you can join me tomorrow for the Friday FAQ show where I cover, S.M.A.R.T. Ways To Indulge This Weekend.
If you liked this you’ll also like: Weight loss analogy: Why ‘Turnover’ and ‘Exercise’ both equal Vanity.
If you’re yet to share the Healthification love – just click here to zip over to iTunes and leave an honest rating and review. It’d help me out big time. With gratitude, Kate.