Now, it is common knowledge that exercise is important for good health, weight maintenance, and mental wellbeing. What isn’t always as clear, though, is just how much physical activity that you should be getting in a day.
Due to this confusion, it can be tricky to know whether you are getting enough exercise or whether you need to step things up. If this is a question that you would like answered, then you have come to the right place. By going through the information below, you should be able to discover where you fall on the spectrum…
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What Do the Experts Say?
First off, let’s take a look at how much exercise medical experts recommend in a day. Now, most professionals will tell you that you need to get two kinds of exercise – aerobic and strength training. This ensures that you are taking care of your body as a whole.
On average, you should be getting around 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity a week. If you prefer vigorous exercise, then you only need to be active for around 75 minutes a day. According to this, you should be working out with moderate vigor for around half an hour, five days a week. Or, you can undergo a more intense work out for fifteen minutes a day, for five days.
Then, there is strength training. It is important that you do weight training for all your muscle groups at least twice a week. Essentially, you should be using enough weights to tire out your muscles after 12 to 15 reps.
Remember that these guidelines are for the bare minimum amount of exercise that you should be doing. So, if you aren’t meeting these goals already, then you definitely need to be stepping things up.
Measure Your Soreness
Let’s face it, it’s not fun being sore. In fact, most people are so put off by soreness that they try to avoid it all costs. Well, whether you like it or not, soreness may indicate just how effective your workout is – to a certain degree, of course.
So, why do you get sore? To put it in basic terms, soreness occurs when your muscle groups have been pushed to new limits. Thus, if you are feeling sore after a workout, you can be certain that have thoroughly worked out all the targeted muscles.
However, if you are never sore, it could mean that you are never actually pushing yourself. Or, it could mean that your body has gotten used to the exercise that you are doing. Either way, your muscles aren’t being worked out and you aren’t getting any real benefit from your exercise.
Of course, your workouts shouldn’t be causing you pain. And, you certainly shouldn’t be sore after every workout. Nevertheless, a little bit of soreness every now and then is a good reminder that you are on the right fitness path.
Monitor Your Activity
There is a good chance that you don’t know how far you walked today or how many steps that you took. You probably aren’t aware of just how high your heart rate went up while working out either. Since you often end up guessing these results, it is difficult to know just how much you are doing.
Well, there is one way to take the guesswork out of the equation. This is by monitoring your activity with the help of fitness trackers. These readings will show you just what you are doing at any given moment. Best of all, you can keep track of your movements over a longer period of time.
Now, the benefit of this tactic is that you get a clear idea of how much you are moving or working out. Thus, you can see if you are doing enough or if you need to improve in certain areas. Not to mention, by being able to see how high your heart rate gets during your workouts, you will be able to determine if you are reaching the right limits.
Are You Seeing Results?
Every person has their own reason for exercising. Some want to lose weight, while others are just looking to tone up. Then there are those that are actively trying to improve their fitness levels or performance. It doesn’t really matter what category you fall into, you have a specific goal.
So, after a few weeks of your physical activity, take an honest examination of yourself. Have you lost any weight? Can you see new muscle definition? Have your fitness levels improved? If the answer is yes, then this does mean that you are probably doing enough.
In the case that the answer is no, however, then you know that things need to change. So, it is worth it to take another look at your fitness plan and determine how you need to push yourself further.
Do You Feel Better?
The right amount of exercise can transform your life in a number of ways. So, if you are exercising enough, you should be able to enjoy these benefits. Thus, it is time to take stock of your life once again.
A good place to start is with your sleep. If you find yourself sleeping like a baby every night, then this is certainly a good sign. The same can be said if you are in a happier mood and are more relaxed, in general. If you find that you have experienced a mental boost and are able to focus for longer periods of time as well, then you are on the right track.
On the other hand, if you are still feeling lethargic or aren’t improving physically or mentally, then you need to step your workout up a notch. Once you have done this, consider how you are feeling again. If you have become more successful in all of these areas, then you can pinpoint what the earlier issue was.
So, how do you measure up? Are you getting enough exercise every day? Or, have you come to the conclusion that you need to be doing a little bit more. Regardless of what your answer is, you now have a clearer idea of just where your fitness levels lie.