Is Daily Exercise Essential?
Many people wonder if daily exercise is essential or is it sufficient to perform 3-5 exercise sessions a week. In this article we will address this question to determine what is the best option for you.
The current Australian government recommendation for exercise is to perform 30 minutes a day, every day. As a result, I often get asked if that is a bit much and is it okay if a person only does around 3-5 sessions a week? My response is that it depends.
As a general rule I do believe that most people should exercise every day. There are several reasons for this. Firstly, creating the habit of regular exercise can be quite hard for many people and does require a high degree of discipline, especially in the early stages. Therefore, daily exercise means they are able to create the habit of exercise relatively quickly and they are less likely to stop the habit. If someone chooses to start an exercise program and only performs it 3 times a week, it is far too easily to get out of the habit of performing regular exercise.
For example, say you wake up one Monday morning and it is really cold. You decide to roll over and go back to sleep all the while saying to yourself that you only need to exercise 3 times a week anyway. The following morning it is cold and raining so you justify staying in bed by saying there is still plenty of time left in the week to get your 3 exercise session done. Wednesday comes and goes without any exercise being done and by Thursday you are already back into your old habits of sleeping in late, etc.
As a result, daily exercise it important from a 'habit creation' perspective. It gets you into the right frame of mind whereby there is simply no excuses, you exercise every day no matter what! Rain, hail or shine, you're out there pounding the pavement, running on a treadmill or lifting weights during one of your gym workouts. The type of exercise you perform is far less important than the fact the you simply perform it every day. As the Nike saying goes: 'Just Do It!'
Another reason why daily exercise is important is simply because 30 minutes a day is not much and if you only perform 3, 30-minute exercise sessions a week you simply aren't going to get results as quickly as you would like. 30 minutes a day 7 days a week is a guideline. Sure if you want to perform a 1-hour aerobic class once a week then perhaps you can have one day off. But if you're only performing 30 minutes of exercise a day then it is essential that you make daily exercise a habit.
Better still, perform the 1-hour aerobics class but still do daily exercise! The human body has been designed for activity so it simply makes sense to do something every day. Our ancient ancestors were active every day but unfortunately, in today's society, we have become relatively sedentary and as a result, obesity rates are soaring! The same goes for our kids. Obesity in children is at an all time high and one of the major contributing factors is lack of exercise!
If you're serious about losing belly fat and getting a flat stomach, then you must be willing to perform daily exercise. Not only will you lose weight fast, especially if you combine it with a good nutritional plan and supplementation program, but you will also feel more energetic and alive!
If you have never really exercised regularly before then it may be hard to understand the feeling of energy, vigour and 'aliveness' that you get when you body is functioning at optimal levels but believe me, it is absolutely true! Plus, the harder you exercise and the more you exercise (up to a point), the greater the improvement in energy, vigour and feelings of 'aliveness'.
As I said earlier, there are some exceptions to daily exercise and the main one is if you are a serious athlete and exercise for several hours during a training session. In that case I do believe you will benefit from having a 'rest day'. However, only a very small minority of people fall into that category so there really any reason why you shouldn't exercise every day. The only other reason is if you are sick. Of course, if that is the case then you need to let your body rest and recovery from the illness as much as possible. If you do exercise when you are sick you are likely to make the condition worse or at the very least extend your recovery period.
Keep in mind though, the general recommendation to perform 30 minutes of exercise a day includes activities like walking so it's really not intense at all. However, it does require you to set aside time to do it, 'incidental exercise' doesn't count. This is where you include walking around an office or around the house as activity.
So go to it, set aside some time each day, even if it means getting up a little bit earlier each day to perform your daily exercise routine. I guarantee your body will thank you for it!
If you would like to determine what is the best exercise for you based on your likes, lifestyle and time availability, the get a copy of my e-book, Look Good, Feel Great!
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