There’s a lot more to it than just trying to reach a better physique when it comes to exercise and fitness. One of the best reasons to start exercising in the first place is simply to help keep fit and be healthier. No matter what kind of exercise you do, it’s essential to make sure you’re doing it safely and frequently to keep your body in the best shape possible and keep everything running smoothly, minimising your risks and maximising your health. To do it well, however, sometimes seems a little confusing. There’s a huge amount of info about keeping fit out there, but we’re here to help answer some of the most frequently asked questions and help you get the ball rolling:
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- How Many Times a Week Do You Need to Work Out?
- What’s the Best Diet Plan?
- Cardio or Weight Training?
- What Are The Best Exercises To Do?
- When Is Best to Exercise?
1. How Many Times a Week Do You Need to Work Out?
First up, how often do you need to work out? This one is hugely subjective. There are tons of different ways to work out, after all, and you need to be doing it in a sustainable way. There’s no real ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to exercise.
If you were to generalise it, there are a few things to remember. The NHS, for example, recommends 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. That can be 30 mins a day Monday to Friday, 3×50-minute walks, or one 150-minute cycle/hike over the weekend. Whatever you need. As generally as possible, 3-5 times a week is great. (3-4, especially if you’re doing vigorous training, 150 minutes is moderate exercise).
2. What’s the Best Diet Plan?
Something that is just as important as exercise when you’re trying to keep fit and be healthy is how you are eating. Your nutrition has a phenomenal impact on your overall health, and it can really be the make or break factor. After all, you can’t out-train a bad diet, and one does not counteract the other.
Like the answer above, everyone is different in what they need. Generally speaking, you need to be consuming the right number of calories for what you need (see a professional to find out what that is or use an online tool as a guide). That calorie intake needs to be made up of your essential macronutrients in the right proportions, i.e. healthy fats, protein and carbs, as well as being balanced to help you get your micronutrients (you need all of those vitamins and minerals to function!). Try to keep a healthy balanced diet and avoid things like excess sugar and saturated fats where you can.
3. Cardio or Weight Training?
Next up is whether cardio or weight training is better for your health. This one is a biggie since they’re both such broad topics, but we’ll take a look a little more in-depth. In an ideal scenario, you should really be using both of them to be as healthy as possible, as they both have their own unique benefits. A good example is cardio exercise 2-3 times per week, with one weight training workout (even bodyweight).
Cardio, for example, has benefits to the body like burning more calories, improving lung function, keeping blood pressure regulated, improving circulation and heart health, managing weight… the list goes on. On the other hand, weight training is incredible for improving balance and bone density, increasing strength and muscle mass, improving your metabolism, and can even help reduce the risk of diseases. Use both!
4. What Are The Best Exercises To Do?
So, you know what kind of exercise you need for the best possible health, but deciding how actually to do them is just as big a challenge. As far as exercise variety goes, you are spoiled for choice after all. Typically, any exercise is good exercise, and the best thing to do is find what you enjoy. But, if you really want the facts, there are some answers we can give you.
The highest calorie-burning exercises, for example, are things like rowing, boxing and running, but they’re all pretty hard. If you need something lighter, then incline walking, cycling and cross-training are all awesome too. Even just walking can be a massive help to your health, though. The more muscles you use at once for strength training, the better, so compound exercises are the best. Things like squats, deadlifts, shoulder presses, chest presses and rows are all great. Again though, do what you enjoy (don’t miss muscles out).
5. When Is Best to Exercise?
Last but not least is when is the best time to exercise. We don’t mean specifically down to the hour or anything but finding out the best time to exercise is something a lot of people try to do. This one is pretty easy to answer too.
The best time to exercise is whenever you can fit it in! It doesn’t really matter. In the morning, you’ll kickstart your day, and on an evening, then you’ll wind down to finish your day (just don’t exercise right before bed). Even commuting to work on your bike or on foot can be enough for your cardio fix or do a bodyweight workout at home on the weekend. See what best suits your lifestyle if you want to keep it up long-term.
These are just some of the most popular questions that we get asked on a regular basis. So if you have any of your own, get in touch, and we’ll do our best to give you an answer!
Before beginning any exercise or nutrition program, consult your physician, doctor or other professional. This is especially important for individuals over the age of 35 or persons with pre-existing health problems. Exercise.co.uk assumes no responsibility for personal injury or property damage sustained using our advice.
If you experience dizziness, nausea, chest pain, or any other abnormal symptoms, stop the workout at once and consult a physician or doctor immediately.