Important Question: How Much Exercise Do You ACTUALLY Need?

If you fall into the group of people who don’t really like exercise, you might try to get by each week with the bare minimum: you do your 5 days a week for 30 minutes and you’re totally happy with it. 

And so you should be! 

You are getting out, moving your body and putting in the effort to stay on top of it. 

But then you see the people who actually like exercise (bizarre, you think) going every day for a couple of hours, and feel that voice creeping up in your head that is getting a little bit down on you for not doing enough.

Meanwhile, these people just can’t get enough of the energy boosting, endorphin blitzing high!

So what is the magic number? 

How much exercise do you need, how much is too much, and how much isn’t enough to make it count?

Well here’s the thing: like all areas of health and wellness, it’s totally individual and there is no set amount that is perfect for everyone, supposing you are meeting the minimums recommended for preventing health issues such as diabetes and cancer. 

Instead of worrying about that magic number, use these 3 things to gauge your own magic number and devise the perfect amount of exercise for you – a number that you can stick to and see results!

1. Find something that you enjoy

If you hate your current fitness routine, you aren’t going to want to do it. And when you don’t want to do it, you’ll do it less often - or for a shorter period of time - and it will just become another daily task or chore.  If this sounds like how fitness is for you right now, ditch your current regime and find something new!  It doesn’t even have to be at the gym!  There are lots of ways to be active that don’t include treadmills, weight machines and gym memberships.  Start by thinking of what you like to do outside of fitness in your every day life.  For example, do you like gardening and being outside?  Do you like listening to slow music and having quiet thinking time to yourself?  Are you loud, always bursting with energy and have a bit of a full-on personality?  Each of these lines themselves up for a different type of fitness and your own likes and dislikes will do the same thing.

2. Figure out your goals

If your goal is to enter a bikini competition, obviously the fitness requirements for this are way higher than if you simply want to maintain cardiovascular health to reduce your risk of a heart attack.  Take some time to understand your goals and motivation behind the fitness you are doing and then be realistic about what it is going to take to reach those goals.  This is especially important if you are using fitness as a weight loss tool: if it’s too little exercise or not a reasonable timeline, you won’t see success.

3. Make the time

One of the big reasons you may not be getting the amount of exercise you want or need is because you don’t have time for it.  Figuring out how much you should be doing starts with figuring out how much time you are willing to commit to it.  Factor in your work, family and other life commitments, but also, don’t let yourself off the hook: don’t let time become an excuse more than a reason.  Decide how much time you need to put towards fitness each week to achieve your goals and then get real and put that down on paper so you can make it happen.

By: Laura Peill

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