How long do I need to spend at the gym?

We know how time is one of the biggest challenges people face when trying to fit exercise in the day.

We all too often hear ‘I’m waiting until I’m less busy’. Well this implies that when you become busy again you’ll stop. Let’s be honest we’re all busy – if you want long lasting, enduring change then the best time to start is when you’re busy. If you learn how to make it work at the least favourable times, then it will stick during the best times.

One thing you need to consider is what is going to move or drop out of your day so you can incorporate exercise? You already fill a 24hour day and if you’re not exercising already, then somethings got to give. Your first task is to identify any gaps in the day or any time periods that can be changed.

Look at times in the morning before work – you may be able to get up 30 minutes earlier and get to the gym then or think of the amount of time in the evening sat scrolling on social media or watching tv. These are those key moments where you can capitalise.

Still, sometimes the barrier is ‘I still don’t have enough time’. Well, new research may be able to help.


Overall physical activity volume

It’s widely recognised that overall physical activity volume is linked to improved cardiovascular health, however, the intensity of exercise has never been looked at before, largely because this is dificult in observational studies where activity is often rated via surveys.
With the introduction of fitness wearables, reasearchers were able to track over 80,000 adults with no prior cardiovascular disease for 7 years.
Using data from the trackers, over short periods and extrapolating the information, total physical activity volume was strongly associated with a lowered cardiovascular risk.
However, there was a further reduction in risk when a greater amount of exercise volume came from moderate to vigorous exercise, even when the overall energy expenditure was the same, meaning, in theory, a 7 minute jog would be greater than a 14 minute walk.

So, in light of this, the message is to maximise your time in the gym wisely. Not having enough time can now be overcome with a higher intensity workout over a shorter period of time, but the strongest message is every bit of movement counts!