Contributed by – Dr Snehal Singh
Have you heard people boast about the number of hours they work out? Do you often hear people showering their gym workout tips on you? Does it leave you worried that you are probably doing very less exercise? If yes, then you’ve landed at the right page. We are deep diving into the whole quality/quantity debate to put a rest to it once and for all.
Everyone, from gym trainer to friendly neighbour has a tonne of exercise tips and gym fitness tips to offer. The common refrain among these people is almost always to spend at least a couple of hours at the gym to achieve your fitness goals. But, honestly, how many people can afford to spend that sort of time in the gym every day. And more importantly, is it really necessary to do so?
What matters the most – Exercise Quality or Quantity?
Most people believe that spending hours at the gym guarantees a fit body. In reality, it is more on the quality of your exercise that determines your results. However, a point to be noted here is that there is a fundamental difference between physical activity and exercise. Experts recommend that a person should get at least 45 minutes of fundamental activity every day. For an activity to be termed as an exercise, you need to work at least 60% of your maximum heart rate. A simple method to calculate your maximum heart is to deduct your age from the number 220.
Research suggests that if your goals are to lose weight and maintain a fit and healthy body, then the quality of your exercises and your diet matter more than the quantity. According to the study, people who intake the optimal amount of protein and do a multidimensional workout regularly will be able to achieve significant success in their weight loss and fitness goals.
Exercises mainly aim at burning excess calories, improving flexibility and strength, in addition to giving a good cardio workout. For some, the goal of exercises is weight management, for some, it is bodybuilding, while some enjoy it as a part of a healthy lifestyle. This is exactly what you need from your exercises to be effective. An ideal fitness plan should actually cover exercises meant for all these benefits.
The other important factor of the quality vs. quantity debate is that while working out and stretching your body is good, too much of it can cause unnecessary stress. For example, brisk walking is a great cardio exercise, but long hours of walking may cause leg pain, knee injuries or muscle pulls. High-intensity exercises if done for long can result in muscle fatigue and injuries. Also, over a period of time, your body gets used to the exercise and may not show any positive effects. Thus, it is essential to keep challenging your body and switching your routines while allowing it to rest and recuperate.
Multi-dimensional exercises, high-intensity workout, variation, upgradation in exercises and recovery time make workouts of superior quality. This will help improve the quality of your fitness regime and offer better results. It also makes your workout more interesting and challenging, which adds to the quality of your exercises. The best way to make your workout efficient and quality rich is to spice up your exercises.
Here are some morning exercise tips with ways to add variety to can make you less fat and more fit.
- Include high-intensity workouts – For people, who have less time for their exercises but are otherwise fit, high-intensity workouts are a great choice. These workout sessions require a burst of intense activity followed by recovery. They work rapidly to burn fat and build muscles in a short period of workout. These can add to the quality of your exercises.
- Alternate exercises – Performing high-intensity exercises for short periods in between low impact workouts can be more effective than long hours of only low-intensity exercises.
- Strength training – Weight training helps improve bone and muscle strength. So, in addition to cardio and flexibility exercises make sure you plan strength training workout with weights. You can perform them two or three times a week.
- Graded approach – Plan progressive exercises that help you step up after you are comfortable with one type of exercise. This may include adding to more weights in strength training or upgrading to complex workouts, depending on your health and performance.
Tips Before Exercise
It is important to be fit and warm up well before performing any form of exercise. Make sure you are in good form and well hydrated. Seek help from a fitness trainer, as needed.
While it is true that high-intensity exercises add quality to your workout, some people may not be comfortable with it. People with any medical problems, previous injuries, surgeries, or muscle and joint problems, must seek medical advice before choosing such exercises. However, even in such cases, you can add variety to your low or medium intensity fitness plan. For example, alternate walking with slow jogging, performing yoga and strength training on some days or walking in the swimming pool. You can also choose high-intensity exercises on some active days while performing yoga or low-intensity exercises on lazy days.
So, based on your individual health and capacity, you can adjust your fitness plan. Make your exercises about quality, not quantity.
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