How Much Exercise is Enough?

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Consistently being bombarded with sculpted bodies across television, Netflix and social media can often leave the real-world person in a state of confusion as to what is healthy and seriously; how much exercise do you really need. Our bodies just like life do not need to be perfect to be wonderful.

It’s reasonable to suspect not everyone you see on screen is as healthy, or feels as good as their profile suggests. And some of them may even be overdoing things on the exercise front. What makes me laugh is that I once overhead an “Insta-fitness model” saying, she never sets foot in a gym and does no exercise, in fact she went on to say how much she loathed exercise! As many of you know, what you see is frequently not what you get nor is it real.

At the other extreme, many of us spend hours sitting in front of screens and simply don’t move around enough each day to look or feel our best, let alone protect our health.

At the other extreme, many of us spend hours sitting in front of screens and simply don’t move around enough each day to look or feel our best, let alone protect our health.


The proven benefits of regular physical activity include reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, depression, certain forms of cancer and other chronic diseases.

Other benefits of regular exercise include increased circulation – yes that glow that says, I am looking after myself! Increased secretion of the anti-aging substance known as Human Growth Hormone (HGH), increased metabolic rate, more energy, deeper sleep, better moods, better digestion, reduced stress and improved bone density.

On the other hand, too much strenuous exercise (such as endurance training) can elevate our levels of the stress hormone cortisol and generate oxidative free radicals which some studies suggest accelerates the rate at which our cells and our skin age.

However, the fact remains that most of us could do with more exercise not less. According to the latest figures by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 60 per cent of adults do less than the current recommended guidelines of 30 minutes of physical activity per day and only 20 per cent do an hour or more per day. To make matters worse, 30 per cent of adults spend more than five hours doing sedentary leisure activity each day.

Meanwhile, Australia’s Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines recommend adults be active on most, preferably all, days every week and accumulate 150 to 300 minutes (that’s 2.5 to 5 hours) of moderate intensity physical activity or 75 to 150 minutes (1.25 or 2.5 hours) of vigorous intensity physical activity (or an equivalent mix of both moderate and vigorous activities) each week.

It is also recommended you do muscle strengthening activities (resistance training with hand weights or your own body weight) at least two days a week.

If your job does require you to be seated for prolonged periods, try to break up your sitting seasons as often as possible, or better still look into the option of a stand-up desk.



It is Your Responsiblty.

Yes – You can Over Exercise

  • If you are continually doing High Intensity Heart Rate Interval Training (HIIT), the likelihood of overtraining is high.
  • As a personal trainer and health coach it is important to acknowledge rest as well as exercise activity. A general guide for weekly activity for the various age groups is 45 minute sessions of high intensity per a week.
  • 18-30’s; four sessions,
  • 30-40’s; three sessions and
  • 40 plus: two sessions
  • As we mature the intensity of training can be reduced, however based on individual circumstances walking is always a great form of exercise.

Note: this is a guide only and varies dependent on specific levels of fitness, body make-up and overall health.  Before embarking on a new exercise program, it is best to consult your medical professional for a thorough review of your health.

Rest is as Important as Exercise

  • If you are constantly feeling tired and lethargic, experiencing muscle or joint soreness or just generally lacking the bounce that exercise should deliver, then it is likely you are training too hard and exercising too frequently.
  • Regular rest is critical for allowing your body and muscles to repair, recover and grow.
  • Rest days need not be inactive, the rest day can mean walking, yoga, stretching or rehabilitation or stability work focusing on weak areas of your body.

When planning your exercise schedule, it is best to work on having a day on to exercise, followed by a day off. So, aiming for two to three gentle, restorative rest days a week.

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When you begin an Exercise routine, it is important to:

  • Start slowly and go gently
  • Tune into your intuition while you train. I call it “Listen to Your Body”
  • Be aware of how your body reacts to exercise and monitor your heart rate.
  • Check in with yourself; “How do you feel?
  • How do your muscles respond?
  • Going too fast or too hard can result in injury, putting you out of exercise so building a steady base, slowly is best.

Stretch Anyone?

One of the steps that is oh so important and more often than not, ignored. Yes I am guilty of this too! Often I hear myself saying, yes, I’ll stretch later! Only to get to later and think – oh well next time I will stretch! This is where the restorative days come into view, especially with a gentle yoga practice. Build in stretching as a part of your workout and like anything when done consistently, it will become a habit. As we mature stretching is more and more important.

Are you lacking motivation to get started with your exercise routine? 

Are you stressed, tired and burning out?  

Reach out to me.

I can keep you accountable, support your efforts to crowd out poor habits and replace with habitst that enable YOU to reduce stress and improve your primary and secondary health.   

Sally x

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Disclaimer: Health that Heals does not PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with a healthcare professional before beginning any diet, supplementation or exercise program. Statements and opinions contained on Health that Heals website and other related sources (Blog and social media platforms) are provided as self-help tools only. Health that Heals cannot and does not guarantee the accuracy or effectiveness of the information to your unique circumstance.