The short answer is 30 minutes on 5 days, every week.
As always it starts with the “it depends” and it does, consideration of various factors that need to be discussed. This is why general advice can only ever be found on a blog.
It’s time to review what your current physical activity is on an average week and consider your goals. If you are classified as ‘healthy’ on the BMI scale with no other health concerns, 5x 30-minutes of weekly exercise is your aim. You can still get individualized advice and support from an exercise professional to answer any unknowns.
If your BMI sits at 32, and you’re struggling to lose weight despite increase exercise in the past three months. Understanding what your whole life entails is key to give good advice. Some things to consider such as, the influence of those you live with; the activity level of your occupation; exercise knowledge or understanding; what exercise you enjoy; what you are currently doing; what your goals are; and what motivates you to reach your goal/s.
I do not mean to scare anyone away here. However, recommendations for those with a BMI >30 is 60-minutes of exercise, daily. This can be quite daunting for those who are new to exercise. Instead of getting bogged down, have a solid reflection about the following points and, write your answers down:
- What are your current activity levels? (washing clothes and housework does not count as structured exercise, but gardening).
- Realistically, what are you able to manage? (days, minutes, financially) – write down as many barriers as you can think of.
- How important is it for YOU to increase your activity levels? Why is this important?
- Set a goal. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant (to you), Time frame.
Review your barriers, zone in, and focus on improving no more than two points at a time. Perfect this, then work on your next barrier, or change to improving your health.
Avoid burnout, avoid self-sabotage behaviors, avoid relapse – probably all things you’ve been through before.
If you’re new to exercise, this may be unnerving. One step at a time is best, if that’s doing 20-minutes more this week than you did last week – you are on the right track!