Tuesday, September 21, 2021

How long does a workout *actually* need to be?


F45’s Lauren Vickers crunches the numbers on how long you should be moving for each day.

Take a look down the main street of most communities and you’ll likely find numerous different fitness offerings, from big box gyms to boutique fitness studios, to Pilates, boxing and yoga.

Scroll through your social media and you’re likely to see 10 times the offerings from personal trainers or those who have developed their own online programs. Your options really are endless.

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Some prefer a structured session with enough time to do a warm-up, complete several different sets or laps of a circuit of exercises as well as a cool down, some prefer to zone out and keep things steady with a long jog, bike ride, run or swim, and some prefer the hard and fast sessions that leave you sweaty, breathless and with legs like jelly.

No matter which type of physical activity you choose, the most important thing is that you enjoy it, and you keep active regularly. Consistency is key. There’s no magic number that dictates how long you should exercise for each time, and the intensity of your workout should reflect your training goals whether they be weight loss, muscle gain, endurance or general health.

However, the Australian Government Department of Health’s guidelines suggest the following sage advice:

• Be active on most, preferably all, days every week.

• Accumulate 150 to 300 minutes (two and half to five hours) of moderate-intensity physical activity or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity, or an equivalent combination of both moderate and vigorous activities, each week.

• Do muscle-strengthening activities on at least two days each week.

In a nutshell, 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each day or 25 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity three days per week is recommended, however this should be tailored to each individual’s fitness goals.

My personal training goals are more centered on general health and keeping regularly active makes me feel better, so I like to mix it up a bit depending on my energy levels. Generally, these are a mix of F45 HIIT sessions, resistance workouts from home, bodyweight Pilates, a yoga flow and some stretching to keep everything really balanced.

I also walk my dog for at least 40 minutes each day, and I might add in four to five additional workouts a week.

Remember, doing 10 minutes of something is better than doing nothing at all, and if you’ve got a really busy schedule, a handy technique can be to break up your training into smaller bursts throughout the day.

Lauren Vickers is F45 Athletics Team Manager.

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