NEW DELHI: A common misconception around fitness remains that working out for longer durations fetches better results. The reality is quite the contrary. The ideal duration of exercise varies depending on your fitness goals. Timing your workouts ensures that you get enough exercise without overdoing it. It also makes you less prone to losing out on motivation, in turn helping you achieve your fitness goals in a sustainable manner.
'Living at the gym' is not a healthy solution
Have you heard the expression 'too much of a good thing'? It often holds true in case of working out. While performing a challenging workout to gain strength, your body needs time to rejuvenate. In contrast, a strenuous workout, while removing stress chemicals, produces new ones. It can knock off the immune system for up to 72 hours. Strength training generates minute rips in muscle tissue, which when mended, strengthen it. If you don't allow your body a day or two off between strenuous exercising, it won't be able to restore itself.
Excessive workout is a recipe for failure
Overtraining causes you to develop a dislike for exercise. In response to excessive training, the immune system treats the strain as an ailment. As a result, you will feel fatigued more, and may fall sick frequently. The intensity of your workout should determine the duration of your workout. A vigorous exercise session requires fewer minutes than a relaxed, low-intensity workout. Be mindful of the time you are spending working out. Modulate it according to the needs of your body, depending upon the intensity.
Life is full of unanticipated events, but that doesn't call for missing out on your workout. To achieve the desired fitness levels, consistency in exercised is key. If you break your workout streak, you can always start again. But, that doesn't mean that you can make up for the missed days by over-exerting your body. An easy way to avoid falling off the fitness bandwagon is to take a simple walk around the block at night on days you miss exercise due to any unforeseen circumstance or simply because you didn't feel like hitting the gym. Stay committed to your fitness regimen.
Variation matters too
It is necessary to balance your exercise routine with other commitments. But doing nothing except crunches for hours every day will not give you a six-pack. You must be realistic if you are serious about losing weight and sculpting your physique. To make it happen, you will also need to put in the necessary work. Exercise less than three times a week, and you may find it easier to maintain your fitness. If you want your metabolism to be in overdrive, you must work out four to six days in a week. Adopt a workout regimen that offers variation to your body, without overdoing any exercise.
(Meenakshi Mohanty, fitness expert)
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