Wondering how long you should work out? I’m here to tell you that there’s no magic number of minutes that will give you the results you want. It depends on your goal, your gender, and even your age! Read on to learn about how long you should work out for to see the results you want and why it matters so much.
The Relationship Between Exercise Duration and Weight Loss
While it may seem logical that longer workouts lead to greater weight loss, that’s not necessarily true. To shed pounds efficiently, exercise routines need to be challenging, and that often means short bursts of high-intensity movement. For example, research has shown that a 20-minute workout with one minute of all-out effort burns more calories than a longer workout at a slower pace. That being said, longer duration exercise has been linked with improved cardiovascular health and lower risk of death from all causes. If you’re looking to drop some pounds without seeing your fitness level suffer, shoot for 150 minutes per week (or just under 20 minutes per day) of moderate intensity exercise. This can include walking or biking at a brisk pace, as well as strength training exercises like squats and lunges.
The Relationship Between Exercise Duration and Muscle Gain
The conventional wisdom is that you need to work out at least 30 minutes a day, or even more. But new research suggests an interval training approach is best. A recent study published in Strength and Conditioning Journal found that subjects who completed 20 intervals of 4 minutes at 60% maximal heart rate performed better than those who trained for 45 minutes at 80% max HR. In other words, less is more when it comes to building muscle. It’s also worth noting that high-intensity interval training (HIIT) has been shown to be effective for fat loss as well as muscle gain. So if your goal is weight loss—as opposed to just adding muscle—you can achieve it faster by exercising less often but with greater intensity each time you do hit the gym.
What Factors Should I Take Into Account When Choosing A Workout Duration?
Your daily schedule and overall health are key factors in determining your ideal workout duration. If you’re short on time, a 10-minute routine is enough to kick off your day; if not, 45 minutes or an hour might be necessary. When first starting a new workout program, it’s recommended that men exercise at least 2 hours per week and women perform at least 1 hour of exercise per week. All things considered, even 30 minutes a day is enough if you do it right!
Workout duration by exercise type
Aerobic activity (like running, cycling, and swimming) requires a longer duration of at least 20 minutes. Additionally, both high-intensity intervals and weightlifting training require more than 15 minutes per session. These exercise types can be broken up into multiple sessions throughout your day if desired. It’s important to note that although 30 minutes is often recommended as an appropriate amount of time for each workout, it may not be enough time to produce health benefits in sedentary individuals or those who are just beginning an exercise program. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that adults do 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic exercise every week and muscle strengthening activities on two or more days per week.
How Do These Recommendations Relate To My Goals And Fitness Level?
Before we get into how much time you should be exercising per week, there are a few important questions that need answering. How serious are your goals related to fitness and working out? Are you looking to lose weight or bulk up (increase muscle mass)? Do you have any physical limitations or injuries that might impact what kind of exercises you can do? These factors will help determine what type of routine is best for you. For example, if your goal is to gain lean muscle while losing fat—which is very common among women—you’ll want to focus on high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and strength training with weights. If your goal is simply to stay fit without gaining muscle, then low-impact cardio workouts like walking may be more appropriate.
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Very informative. I always thought I needed to workout for hour to hour and half to achieve my goals.