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When people start a sport, they usually have lots of questions: what activity to choose, where and how to exercise, do 20 minutes of jogging burn off a bar of chocolate*… But the question of frequency soon raises its head. How long should the ideal sports session last? Do you need to exercise every day? In reality, it all depends on your goals. We'll help you get a clearer idea.
How Often Should I Exercise to Tone Up or Build Muscle?
We have to admit that we rather like the idea of being a little more toned or muscular. Luckily, it's not necessary to work out like a body-builder to achieve this. And swallowing down a pot of protein a day won't help. But with a little time and effort... you should notice some changes.To achieve these changes, the best method is still strength training.
A strength training programme generally involves 3 sessions lasting an hour on average, allowing you to target all the major muscle groups of the body (legs, arms, pecs, back muscles), for well-rounded and optimum development.It is recognised that we need to leave at least 24 hours rest between two sessions, so that the muscle fibres can recover, and to avoid injury.
Nevertheless, it is entirely possible to reduce your session length to 30 minutes daily.
In this case, if you want to see results, 5 sessions wouldn't be excessive. If your sole objective is to get in better shape and better health, 2 sessions a week could be enough. These 2 hours a week will help you improve your posture and tone up.
2. How Often Should I Exercise to Loose Weight?
This is one of the main goals of those starting sport:to slim down!
Various sources give quite contradictory information on how often we should exercise to lose weight. When running, for example, it is considered that we need to run for at least 45 minutes before we start to burn stored fat. In reality, your body starts burning fat from the first minutes of running. The longer you run, the more effective your effort will be. Alternating intensity (interval training, switching between fast and slow running) is also recommended to accelerate the process.
Overall, regularity is the key to success. Doing one long, two-hour session per week, without challenging your body in between, is not the best approach. After all, exercise also means choosing the stairs over the elevator, cycling rather than driving, and hiking over pie (although we all know it's not really necessary to choose:pie IS the reward after your hike). The W.H.O. (World Health Organisation) is very clear about this:physical activity starts when the body is moving.
It's important to remember that you need to have periods of rest in your weekly exercise schedule:your body needs time to recover from exertion.It would be counter-productive to exercise every day, as you would risk injury. We therefore advise the following:regular practice, listening to your body and leaving sufficient rest time. How often do you do your favourite sport? Do you think it's useful to do sport every day?
Your comfy sofa is calling, you're tired after a day at work, episode 128 of season 14 of your favourite series is on, or you quite simply can't be bothered: there are approximately 1001 good reasons not to do sport.