Any activity is better than none at all. There is no winner when it comes to longer, less frequent sessions of aerobic exercise compared to shorter, more frequent sessions.
At the end of the day, any type of aerobic activity contributes to cardiovascular fitness. Even divided quantities of activity, like five-minute walks taken throughout the day, offer aerobic benefits. However, if you want to lose weight – as opposed to maintaining good health – you would need to ramp up the amount of cardiovascular (or aerobic) activity that you do.
The most important part of exercise is to make regular physical activity part of your lifestyle.
Some experts recommend 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week or, alternatively, a combination of moderate and vigorous activity. These exercises should be spread out throughout the week. Aiming for at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity five days a week would still let you reap the benefits of this exercise, such as helping to:
- Strengthen the heart and lungs,
- Lower a person’s percentage of body fat,
- Decrease stress levels, and
- Make a person feel more energised on a daily basis.
Experts also suggest balancing aerobic classes with strength training and some flexibility work as it’s the combination of these three activities that provides balanced fitness. For example, why not add in a weekly weights session and a Yoga class to your weekly fitness routine so that you can add the elements offered by these exercise formats.
However, if you want to lose weight as was mentioned in the first paragraph, maintain weight loss, gain more health and fitness benefits, or meet specific fitness goals, you need to work harder. In this case, you can aim for 60 minutes or more of moderate physical activity a day.
These are the best recommended times of exercise for people trying to achieve different goals:
When you are trying to lose weight, you should aim to burn 26 calories per kilogram per week.
This means that you don’t have to do aerobic exercises every day. You only have to do enough exercises to trigger weight loss. You can vary the number of days according to your schedule.
In order to be competitive when you to face your opponents, you need to constantly practise. This can often mean that you need to exercise every day in order to raise your capacity to compete at high levels.
Reaping health benefits
If you exercise simply for the health and fitness benefits, you only need to get a certain amount of exercise per week. These benefits include reducing your risk of heart disease and improving your stamina.
The amount of exercise you need to do depends on the intensity of the cardio exercise. If the cardio is light, you should do 300 minutes of it per week. If the cardio is moderate, you should do 150 minutes of it per week. If the cardio is vigorous, you can do as little as 75 minutes of it per week.
It is your own choice in terms of how you decides to spread these minutes out. You need to develop a workout routine that suits your schedule and allows you to reach your goals. If the workout schedule that you develop is unrealistic it will be more likely that you won’t stick to it. As a guide, make sure that the schedule adheres to the S.M.A.R.T principle:
- Realistic, and time sensitive.
When it comes to any exercise, it is important to avoid prolonged sedentary behaviour. This means you can’t sit continuously for several hours. During your work day, get up from your computer every hour or so and stretch or walk around the office.
In addition to trying to incorporate exercise into your day, you should try to break up your sedentary behaviours. Walking around during advertisement breaks when you’re watching TV should get your blood flowing.
Going to aerobics classes needs to fit into your schedule because if it becomes difficult to get to these classes you won’t continue to go to these. Most importantly if you don’t like going to aerobics you’ll find it a challenge to keep attending these classes.
If you do not know how to employ the above fitness routine properly into your daily exercise routine it is a good idea to hire a qualified personal trainer to assist you in your fitness journey.