Time versus intensity: gym manager explains
IT IS difficult to assess how long you should exercise each day to achieve your goals.
This can vary but for most of us just keeping healthy and losing a few kilos is our primary health and fitness goal.
There is an increasing body of research developing that shows it is intensity, not duration, that has a greater training effect for fitness - particularly when the desired goal is weight loss.
The World Health Organisation has developed recommendations for physical activity of adults between the ages of 18-64, stating that:
- they should do at least 150 minutes (2.5 hours) of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week or at least 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise throughout the week.
- aerobic activity should be performed in bouts of at least 10 minutes' duration.
- for additional health benefits, the amount of moderate-intensity aerobic activity should be increased to 300 minutes (5 hours) per week or 150 minutes (2.5 hours) of vigorous-intensity activity.
- resistance training activities should be done on two or more days a week.
The guidelines also state that it is important that your exercise sessions are no shorter than 10 minutes.
This is simply because anything less than that will not achieve the same level of accumulative cardiovascular training effect.
Studies have shown that in workouts where you get your heart really pumping (i.e. near its max) followed by short periods of recovery (HIIT training), the benefits to your cardiovascular system and the fat-burning effect of the workout are greater.
Dividing your training time into shorter, more intense sessions comes with significant benefits.
Your total weekly time spent training, though, might depend entirely on your goals.
If you are training for ultra-marathon running, then it makes sense to opt for once-a-day, longer workout sessions.
For general fitness and health maintenance, weight loss, toning, strength building and moderate-distance cardio endurance, however, shorter, more intense work
outs (even as little as 10 minutes at a time) can be very effective - even to improve cardiovascular endurance.
Anytime Fitness has a great range of equipment catering for HIIT workouts and what is commonly called Functional Training programs. We also have certified personal trainers and group classes available.
Hopefully you can achieve your health and fitness goals as we come into the warmer months, so don't put it off for one day more - start today.
Bundaberg manager Nathan Obst