Is there such a thing as too much exercise?
Regular exercise is definitely important for good health. When I say exercise, I mean a dedicated time set aside to do things such as cardio and strength/weight training. This might surprise you, but the answer is definitely yes!
Studies show that it is most effective to work out for less than an hour a day, generally between 30-45 min a day. The American Hear Association suggests: “At least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity at least 5 days per week for a total of 150 minuets. Or at least 25 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity at least 3 days per week for a total of 75 minutes; or a combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity. Moderate- to high-intensity muscle-strengthening activity at least 2 days per week for additional health benefits.”
The most important thing is to find the right balance. I know for me, when I work out too intensely, I tend to eat more. I have more sugar and snacking cravings. Balance high and low intensity to help control your hunger level. If you are exercising more but eating more, that will not be an effective way to lose weight. You cannot out run a poor diet! Find what works best for your body. If you feel tired or burnt out and are craving more food, maybe you are working out too much or too intensely. Don’t decrease your activity, but maybe just your time and intensity.
While exercising too much isn’t necessarily a good thing, what is important is to be moving throughout the day.Look for ways to include more movement to your day. Make small changes like standing when you can instead of sitting down, walking up the steps instead of taking the elevator, parking further away from the door. You don’t have to be doing things that cause you to be out of breath and sweating, but being more active overall is important.
So How Much Exercise is Enough?
“For most healthy adults, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends these exercise guidelines:
- Aerobic activity. Get at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity. You also can do a combination of moderate and vigorous activity. The guidelines suggest that you spread out this exercise during the course of a week.
- Strength training. Do strength training exercises at least twice a week. No specific amount of time for each strength training session is included in the guidelines.
Moderate aerobic exercise includes such activities as brisk walking, swimming and mowing the lawn. Vigorous aerobic exercise includes such activities as running and aerobic dancing. Strength training can include use of weight machines or activities such as rock climbing or heavy gardening.
As a general goal, aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day. If you want to lose weight or meet specific fitness goals, you may need to exercise more. Want to aim even higher? You can achieve more health benefits, including increased weight loss, if you ramp up your exercise to 300 minutes a week.
Short on long chunks of time? Even brief bouts of activity offer benefits. For instance, if you can’t fit in one 30-minute walk, try three 10-minute walks instead. What’s most important is making regular physical activity part of your lifestyle.”