Exercise is good and the more exercise the better? Not necessarily.
Up to a certain point, yes and then your return on investment (ROI) decreases as you add more hours.
Most people think you need to do approx 5 hours of exercise a week or it “doesn’t do anything”. Thus, in many cases, because there is no way they can achieve that many hours to exercise each week, they don’t even try. Zero hours of exercise a week.
That means the majority of people would rather think about exercising and feel guilty for not doing it rather than fitting in one or two hours per week. 1 hour of exercise versus 0 hours is a win!!! Those little wins accumulate to big achievements
The second hour you add is even better for your health, but your ROI is lower than in that first hour. The third hour the ROI is even less but 3 hours is even better for your health than 1 hour. And so on and so forth. It looks like this:
Of course, you will also get to The Point of Negative Returns where you are not only getting less ROI, but you’re now negatively affecting your health (when exercise exceeds ability to recover).
This point depends on many factors such as quality sleep, nutrition, hydration, stress levels, activity level, health status etc. If you haven’t worked out in a long time, a couple of hours of moderate exercise might be difficult for you to recover from. This is why we need to take a progressive approach with exercise.
Official Guidelines – The ideal
Officially, guidelines recommend 150 minutes of exercise per week - that is (1.5 hours) of cardiovascular exercise a week PLUS resistance training at least twice a week.
Many people do not do this. They don’t have the time or energy or motivation. So, they do nothing at all.
While those guidelines might be the ideal, you may have to start small with those guidelines as being your goal. In some cases, starting with 10 minutes, or 20, or just 5 is necessary. But not doing anything will not change anything.
The same applies to diet and nutrition. If you make a poor diet choice, that does not mean the whole day has to be poor. You get right back on track and make the next one better. Don’t say – “I’ll start again on Monday” or “next month will be better because x, y or z”. There is no time like the present and every little helps.
Take home messages:
Make the best choice available to you at that moment.
Find the right amount of structured exercise for you, taking all of the above into account.
When you miss a class for any reason, make the next class you can make.
We exercise to be healthy in body and mind. But if we are exercising for our mind (coping mechanism) and it is negatively affecting our body (over exercising), that needs to be addressed.
If you want to begin exercising safely and consistently, in an environment that will keep you motivated, join our online classes ( 1:1 and group classes available).