We all know about the recommended frequency that you work out, but does that guideline actually stand true? Is it truly essential to get only 30 minutes of exercise five days a week, or is the body open to more on some days and less on others? Turns out that it honestly doesn’t matter how often you work out during the week, as long as you’re getting a minimum of 150 minutes of exercise every single week.
A study that was published in Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism looked at a representative group of over 2,300 active Canadians that took part in the Canadian Health Measures Survey. Everyone that took part in the study made sure to get a minimum of 150 minutes of activity ranging in moderately intense to vigorous. Some broke their sessions up over the course of the week, and others chose to exercise only one to four times weekly. Both groups had the same level of risk for illnesses including high blood pressure, high blood sugar, metabolic syndrome, obesity and high cholesterol. Those that got the most amount of activity time per week tended to be the healthiest.
Turns out that the total amount, intensity and type of activity all have a greater effect on the body than how often you do it. But, does this mean that you can just get a two and a half hour workout in and call it for the week? It’s not exactly that easy. Researchers feel that it’s likely a bit of a stretch to say that working out for 150 minutes a week in one day is just as effective for the body as stretching it out at least over a couple of days.
You should also keep in mind that hitting the gym less often for longer amounts of time might keep your cardiovascular system healthy; it’s likely that you won’t meet your personal fitness goals, such as weight loss or marathon training. You could also irritate the joints and cause your body to become sore when you work out this way.
While it might be a good thing for those that have a busy week to work out less often for longer amounts of time, but many health care professionals still feel that it’s ideal to work out for shorter amounts of time and get it done more often. It’s better for stress relief to work out more often, and you’ll find that you’re better able to boost your endurance with shorter, more frequent trips to the gym.