Is there an optimal length of time to exercise?

You know you need to take more time out for yourself, especially when it comes to your physical wellbeing. But how many times a week should you workout? Follow our guide and take some time for you.

If doctors packaged the benefits of exercise into one convenient little pill, there’d be queues the length of China’s Great Wall outside GPs to get hold of it. But it’s completely free, it works straight away, and you don’t need a prescription to reap the rewards of working out. 

So you know that exercise makes you happier and healthier – science says so. What’s confusing is the dosage to take. The hardest question is, how many times a week should you workout? Do you need to be leaving HIIT classes all jelly-legged five times a week, or will a slow-and-steady pilates class on a Sunday suffice?

Let’s take a look at the facts.

How many times a week should you workout for optimum health?

According to the World Health Organisation, if you’re aged between 18 and 64, you should be doing A) at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week or B) at least 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity or C) an equivalent of the two. 

Breaking that up into your week is simple. Basically, the aim is to get your body moving five times a week for 30 minutes. Moderate-intensity exercise should noticeably increase your heart rate and breathing. You might get a sweat on, but you can still chat to a friend. Examples of moderate-intensity exercises include:

●     Brisk walking

●     Light jogging

●     Cycling under 10mph (no hills)

●     Swimming at a slow and steady pace

●     Water aerobics

●     Gentle yoga (our Hatha Yoga classes are great to get your blood circulating)

●     Mowing the lawn

To up the ante (particularly on weeks you may not have enough time to exercise five separate days), you can bring some vigorous-intensity workouts into your routine. You should be breathing hard and fast with vigorous exercise, and you won’t be able to catch up with your friend until you’ve paused to catch your breath. A few ideas: 

●     Running

●     Hiking uphill or with a heavy backpack

●     High intensity interval training

●     Aerobics (Raw Cardio is perfect)

optimal length of time to exercise

There’s no one-size-fits-all formula when it comes to how much exercise we should have. The more the better, as long as you make time for recovery. While you may not always have time in your day to get to the gym, there are still plenty of ways to incorporate physical activity into your day-to-day routine. 

Sitting down too much is repeatedly labelled as society’s ‘silent killer’, increasing risk of heart disease, strokes, diabetes and obesity. Bring more movement into your workday by going for a walk on your lunch break, taking the stairs instead of the life, or jumping off the bus before your stop and walking the rest of the journey (or cycling to work instead).

You’ll be so keen to try our wide range of inspirational classes that you may even exceed your recommended 150 minutes of exercise every week. Many of our group classes are designed exclusively for or by Raw Gyms, so you won’t get them anywhere else. You’re guaranteed to find an activity you like, so join in the joy and start living a healthy life you love today.