For most healthy people, the ideal frequency of exercise is from anywhere between 3 to 6 days per week.
For people who are not used to exercising or have led sedentary lifestyles and are just beginning a program. The ideal program is to start out with shorter exercise training sessions more frequently.
Daily or twice daily exercise sessions of no more than 5 minutes duration is a great way to get started. An example would be to go for a light walk, you should be able to hold a conversation while walking this is a good gauge to the level of exertion.
This should be easily achieved and will lead to the adaption of an exercise routine.
As fitness improves, you can extend the time of each session until a longer and more beneficial exercise training session can be tolerated. Anyone new to fitness training should try and avoid any excessive frequency of exercise as they rarely stick to the program.
The problem here is the tendency to over train and the likelihood of developing overuse injuries. This will bring about the need to reduce or stop the exercise routine until the injuries are healed. This disrupts the regular routine of exercise you were trying to achieve. So it’s best to take the routine slowly and build up to high frequency short duration exercise. You don’t want to feel bad about not being able to stick to your new routine.
Anyone starting out should start with 3 to 4 sessions of moderate activity per week. Moderate exercise should make you feel slightly out of breath. A brisk walk or walking up a hill would be considered moderate exercise.
Then move to more frequent sessions as fitness improves. Research has shown that once frequency of exercise increases people are more prone to sustain muscle and connective tissue injuries. So it’s best not to rush your training.
Overtraining usually results in injury rather than any accelerated training gains. It’s also a good idea not to exercise when your ill, tired or in extreme heat or cold. We will go into further detail in future articles on this topic.
The ideal training session for a healthy adult is around 20 -60 minutes.
Low intensity exercise like walking approximately 100 steps per minute, or 3,000 steps in 30 minutes & “stop start” sports like tennis or racquetball, should be played for at least 45minutes.
Exercise duration is different for everyone and you should stop when you feel overtired or experience leg cramps, chest pains, dyspnea (laboured or difficulty breathing) or irregular heart rhythms.
The intensity is the most important aspect of the exercise program. If the intensity isn’t right there will be little improvement in your fitness. Overtrain by training excessively or too hard and you risk injury.
Over the next few weeks we will cover the other factors in achieving a healthy fitness program. So stayed tuned for some more great help in getting fit.