How long should you work out?#
There are many misconceptions about how long you should work out to get maximum benefits. You may hear of some of your friends doing three hour marathon sessions at the gym and others doing high intensity, shorter workouts. There are a wide spectrum of workout lengths ranging from 10 minute intervals to 90 minutes or more. Here are a few ways to help determine how long your workouts should be.
It depends on your fitness goals, but 30 minutes a day is the minimum for healthy adults.
Across the board, the magic minimum workout number appears to be at least 30 minutes of moderate activity a day. This rule applies to all healthy adults and serves to maintain a healthy weight and lower the chance of diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and osteoporosis just to name a few. The Department of Health and Human Services is a little more lenient and suggests at least 150 minutes per week of moderate physical activity or alternatively 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity. You can also mix and match both moderate activity and strenuous aerobic activity. The Department of Health and Human Services also recommends at least two days of strength training a week, although doesn’t specify the type of activity or length.
Is there such a thing as to short of a workout or too long of one?
Free time is very difficult to come by and many people may not even have a 30 minute chunk to dedicate to a workout. This is not a problem at all, as shorter 10 minute intervals that add up to 30 minutes can benefit you just as much as one longer session. If you notice that you are still gaining weight, feel free to lengthen your workouts or add more vigorous exercises. Workouts can even be extended to 90 minutes which is extremely beneficial for overweight individuals who are in the process of losing weight or maintaining their weight loss. There is no magic amount of time that you should be aiming for, but if you begin to feel pain, not soreness, then you should stop your routine because that is never a good sign.
Should I have a time limit then?
It all depends on you. If you have places to go and a limited time frame, then yes set a time limit. Another benefit of setting a time limit is that it will keep you from dilly-dallying or overworking yourself and causing harm to your body. You should not design a routine with a time limit in mind though, but find a routine that is optimized for your body and that will help you meet your goals.
Again, we should specify that the time associated with your routine should be the time actually spent working out, not waiting in line for the machine or socializing. A great way to reduce that machine waiting time is to buy your own used fitness equipment!