When it comes to weight loss, it can be tricky to ensure that you’re doing the right amount of exercise. Too much can lead to overtraining and too little means you achieve less of a result on the scales. So how much exercise is the right amount of exercise in order to lose weight?
According to the findings conducted by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), the recommendations are that you get between 150 to 250 minutes of moderate to intense exercise each week.
Now, that could feel a little overwhelming for many of us who already have jam-packed weeks. So let’s look at a few different approaches to exercise to find what might work for you.
Little and often
If you’re time poor and you can’t find a decent block of time within your day, then based on the above recommendation, all it will take is 21 mins to 35 mins each day of the week. The beauty of doing it this way is that you are also creating a more regular exercise habit and it becomes a part of your daily routine. Your exercise might involve a jog, a power walk up some hills and stairs, a bike ride around the block or some at-home workout based exercises. For substantial weight loss, however, the ACSM recommends more than 250 minutes per week which equates to an average of 35 mins per day.
Longer and less frequent
Daily workouts may not be realistic for you if you work long hours, do shift work, have family commitments or a long commute. You may find that you exercise fewer days each week but you are able to work out for longer periods of time. If training 3-4 days per week, aim to train for 40-65 mins. You may head to a class in your lunch hour or allow time in the weekend for a longer run or workout. Bear in mind that it could be harder to build that exercise habit if you’re training less often.
Varying your intensity
This approach may provide you with more bang for your buck! If you’ve already got a good fitness base, then increasing the intensity of your workouts will help you to burn more calories in less time. Include speed or hill sprint interval training, HIIT sessions or circuits which allow you to work at a higher intensity. You also might like to mix things up by having some workouts be shorter and harder with some that are longer and easier.
This (of course!) plays a major role in weight loss too! So moderately reducing your calories combined with the above recommendations is likely to accelerate your weight loss results. And always remember, you can’t out-train a bad diet!
It’s important to know that everyone is different, so do what works best for you. Your training week doesn’t need to be perfect in order for it to be effective. But keep in mind, it’s consistency that matters most. So doing less but more often might be a smarter approach in building a long term regular exercise habit, to be able to lose weight consistently.
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