When you start exercising, you’re full of questions:
- What activity should you do?
- Where and how should you do it?
- Does 20 minutes of jogging make up for eating a chocolate bar …?*
*The answer is no.**
You also wonder about how often to exercise:
- How long is an ideal exercise session?
- Do you need to do it every day?
Really, it all depends on your objectives. We’ll help you figure it out
- How much should you exercise to tone or gain muscle?
You’ve got to admit that the idea of being a little more toned or muscular isn’t terrible. Luckily, you don’t need to copy the training sessions of an elite bodybuilder to achieve this. And you don’t have to gulp gallons of protein shake every day, either. With a bit of effort and time, you’ll see changes. The best method? Weight-lifting.
A weight-lifting training program usually consists of three hour-long sessions a week that let you work on all of your body’s main muscle groups (legs, arms, pecs, back). This encourages nice, optimal growth. You need to leave at least 24 hours between sessions to let your muscle fibers recover and avoid injuries.
It’s also possible to reduce the length of sessions to 30 minutes a day, three days a week. In this case, five sets will give you results.
If your only goal is to create a nice silhouette and remain healthy, two hour-long sessions per week are enough. Those two semi-weekly hours will let you improve your form and muscle tone.
- How often should I exercise to lose weight?
Losing weight is one of the biggest motivations for beginning athletes!
Everywhere you look, there’s contradictory information on how much you should exercise to lose weight. In running, for example, some people tell you that you need to run a minimum of 45 minutes before you tap into fat reserves. But really, your body is already burning fat a few minutes into training. And the longer your session, the more effective your effort becomes. It’s also recommended to alternate speeds (interval training, i.e. varying your speed between a sprint and a jog) to accelerate the process.
Overall, consistency is key to your success. It’s not enough to do one two-hour session a week without doing anything the rest of the week. Taking the stairs instead of the elevator counts as exercise, as does riding your bike instead of driving a car. The WHO (World Health Organization) states it elegantly: “Physical activity is defined as any bodily movement … that requires energy expenditure.”
It’s important to remember to keep rest days in your exercise week: Your body needs time to recover. It’s counterproductive to practice every day because of the risk of injury.
So that’s our advice: exercising regularly, listening to your body and leaving enough time for recovery. What about you? How often do you practice your favorite sport? Do you think it’s useful to do physical activity every day?
Written by: Guillaume
Tennis, running, weight-lifting, cycling, paddle tennis, yoga and more: Ever since childhood, I’ve been a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to sports. I’m not stopping any time soon!
Post translated from decathlon.fr