Fitness and Performance

How much exercise is enough?

May 20 2020

Over the past few months, we’ve all experienced a change in lifestyle. This includes the amount of exercise we are doing day-to-day. Whether that be more or less than we’re used to.

Perhaps you’re unable to engage in the physical activities you enjoy the most, be that team sports, gym or exercise classes. Or perhaps walking and cycling to work may have been your major source of daily physical activity.

Many of us are on the lookout for replacements to keep our bodies moving, from outdoor running to home exercise classes…

But how much exercise is enough?

This is a question many of us ask ourselves. The national guideline suggests that all healthy adults should engage in a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise, or 75 minutes of high-intensity exercise a week. Equally, we could do a mixture of both. It appears that just over a third of the UK population meets this guideline.

This guideline specifies the minimal activity. So it’s easy to assume that as long as we fit in some brisk walks and a couple of intense circuits, we should be perfectly okay to spend the rest of our day sitting down, glued to our screens.

However, sedentary behaviours may impose an additional risk to our health. This includes an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes and multiple musculoskeletal pains and aches. In other words, our body is designed to move. It doesn’t do very well with being stationary for prolonged periods of time.

So, how do we exercise safely during this time?

1. Keep moving, little and often.

Get up and move around every half an hour. No need to go outside for a walk – just walk to another room. Perform a few quick stretches or use this as an excuse to grab an extra cup of tea.

2. Try something new.

Use this as an opportunity to try new activities and a variety of home-based exercise classes. You will find some upper and lower body circuits on our YouTube channel.

3. Don’t overdo it.

When we increase the load too quickly or exercise too often, we are significantly more likely to sustain a new ache or injury. HIIT 7 days a week is a no-no. Chances are your body will not be able to recover from the demand. Aim to alternate between low intensity and high-intensity exercise and bring in some variety to your exercise schedule.

Most importantly, even though it may be challenging to find the motivation to exercise during such a difficult time, we must remember that our physical and mental health depend on it. 

We’re currently releasing videos every week focused on injury rehabilitation and pain prevention. These will cover different parts of the body to help you stay strong from home. You can explore these on our YouTube channel.