<— And yes that is totally a picture of me back in 2007 when I first started working at a gym and was studying for my personal trainer exam!
I thought that the more I worked out the better.
Sometimes I would even workout twice a day or spend 2 hours doing cardio, because that’s how you stay health and get fit, right?
Well not exactly…
When it comes to exercising, more isn’t always better. Too much exercise can stall your results and even be unhealthy.
1) Does NOT lead to faster or even better results. Too much exercise can actually reduce muscle mass. This means LESS muscle tone and a lowered metabolism making weight loss slower and less permanent.
2) It often leaves you feeling drained and exhausted.
3) It leaves you feeling hungrier, so all those calories you just burned often end up getting put right back in with food.
4) Over-exercising is actually very stressful on the body and the joints. So if you want to be HEALTHIER than overdoing it is not the answer.
5) And lastly, it’s unsustainable because who really has time to workout for hours a day? Or even wants to for that matter? So even if you do get results they often don’t last very long.
See exercise should leave you feeling energized and accomplished. It should be something that is easy to incorporate into your busy schedule.
And honestly, if you’re spending over 40 minutes working out then you could very well be wasting your time. All you’re really doing at that point is pacing yourself and probably taking lots of breaks so you can even make it past that 40 minute mark.
So I challenge you to stop focusing on HOW LONG you workout. That is NOT a true gauge of fitness success. It’s actually a very lousy one.
Instead, put your focus on the QUALITY of your workout.
Quality means increasing the effectiveness and getting the most out of your workouts.
Do this by picking up the pace (think sprinting vs. a slow steady jog), limit breaks to only as needed, and select exercises and weights that are challenging so that going beyond a 15-40 minute workout is tough.
I typically workout for 15-30 minutes each day and I definitely enjoy it much more. Occasionally, I’ll go for a longer mountain bike ride but it’s because I enjoy it and I don’t do it everyday.
I actually look forward to working out now because I know it will leave me feeling energized, rather than drained, and it doesn’t take too much time out of my day to accomplish.
So if you think you have to spend hours a day working out, the good news is you don’t!