How much exercise do I need to do? That could be one of the most common questions I am asked. The answer, as with most things is, it depends. How much is enough depends on a variety of factors. How you come to any reasonable answer starts with these questions.
1. What do you want to achieve?
Is this a personal goal or something you think you should do? Did your doctor recommend you get more exercise? Or your partner?
Do you have a personal connection to your goal? No connection? I hate to tell you but, it’s not going to work out between you and this exercise thing.
2. How much time do you want to spend exercising?
This is important. If you have limited time or limited interest, then the minimal amount might be enough. I also find that once someone starts exercising regularly, they want to do more. So any answer from 15 minutes to “I could manage 45 minutes” are all equally acceptable. I know, that like most things, starting is the main thing.
3. What’s your dream goal?
What is it you really see for yourself? This is a glimpse into what is really important. Answers might range from “I want to live to see my grandchildren grow up” to “I would like to run a half marathon” or “I am sick of not being able to wear all my clothes”. It doesn’t matter what your dream goal is, as long as it is important to you.
4. What would you be happy with?
It is very important to see what an acceptable level of success really looks like. This will effect everything else.
5. What else do you want from exercise?
This one might be the secret to success. Do you need social interaction to stay motivated? Do you like the time alone? Do you like routine? Are you competitive? What else are you looking for when you are exercising?
There are evidence based recommendations, but that isn’t where I start, that can come later (as in next week). Changing your habits successfully requires two things, a mental and an emotional connection. So if you are wondering if you are doing enough exercise, start with the why, then the how isn’t nearly so difficult.
Change your mind, change your health,
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