If you are anything like me, I assume you are confused about what to believe when it comes to fitness or nutrition. There is so much information about these topics circulating out there, and much of the information is conflicting. This is the reason why I became a fitness professional. As a high schooler and fitness enthusiast, I didn’t know what to believe. After 13 years of research and experience, I want to share my expertise with you so that there are no longer any debates or questions in your mind about how to become fit.
What works: being a “weekend warrior” or getting some exercise every day?
“Weekend warriors” are known for spending 2-3 hours over 2 days doing long, intense workout sessions. The other days of the week they are doing life and resting. This approach is definitely better than nothing, but it’s not ideal. The ACSM recommends 30 minutes of moderately intense exercise 5 days a week. I know you are busy, but 30 minutes is doable, right? This could be biking the neighborhood with your kids, doing an exercise DVD at home, going out for a run, or hitting the gym for a quick 30 minute strength circuit. Just so that you have all your questions answered, here are some details:
Moderate intensity = a heart rate of about 65% of max. You can feel your heart beating, are breathing a little harder, and may break a sweat after 10 minutes of the activity.
Benefits of daily exercise:
- boosts metabolism
- increases energy
- increases positive mood
- keeps muscles loose
- improves circulation
- improves concentration
- allows for a balanced workout approach-some cardio days, some resistance training days, and rest
Detriments of “weekend warrior” approach:
- cardio capacity diminishes after 24 hours of rest
- too much breakdown of muscles at one time can lead to a catabolic state in the body-releasing more cortisol that stores belly fat
- too easy to miss the planned weekend workouts and miss an entire week of activity