The Recommended Duration of a Workout

We often read recommendations about the duration of a workout; we must keep in mind that every case is personal and we cannot go through long periods of physical activity without previous adaptation and conditioning of our bodies.
The Recommended Duration of a Workout

Last update: 18 August, 2018

In order to live a healthy life, it’s crucial to maintain frequent exercise routines.

This doesn’t mean that you have to buy a gym membership or sign up to an athletic club. Going out for a walk with your dog every evening (for those who have pets) can be enough workout time.

The World Health Organization claims that the minimum duration for a workout should be 150 minutes of weekly moderate activity, meaning fast and constant walking or low to moderate intensity jogging. All distributed in 30 minute sessions, five days per week.

cardio workouts you can do at home

If you have the ability to do high-intensity aerobic exercise, 75 minutes per week is ideal.

This should be over sessions that are evenly distributed.

Is working out for too long dangerous?

This the most controversial of the claims about workout duration. On one side, the WHO and other specialists assure us that we must set a limit to our workout duration, and it should be 450 minutes per week. 

Professionals who support this thesis claim that those who over-exercise risk seriously harming their health. Therefore, depending on the activity, some muscles may be compromised. In the most extreme cases, the heart is one of the organs most at risk from collapsing.

The concept of “too much exercise” doesn’t exist

Other doctors and fitness experts state that concepts such as, “over-training” or “too much exercise” are absurd. They assure us that no healthy person will have their health compromised by constantly exercising for more than 450 minutes per week.

physical activity training fatigue

Specialists of this group claim that the human body has the ability to adapt to the demands that we submit it to and an excess of exercise does not directly cause cardiovascular incidents. Therefore, cardiovascular collapses in athletes who passed away, were due to congenital problems that weren’t detected previously, and are not due to excessive exercise.

A 30-minute workout: more than enough

Where there actually is unanimity, is at the thought that 30 minutes, five days a week, is enough workout time. Even despite people developing more resistance, health benefits stabilize once this mark is reached.

The opinions are also unanimous on what really is dangerous to our health: a sedentary lifestyle. Not doing any physical activity increases the risks of contracting several diseases that go from being overweight to cardiovascular problems. Diabetes, bone deficiency and depression are on this list as well.

When will you see the results?

Generally, the first results will be noticeable and measurable after 45 days of uninterrupted activity.  Rest and recovery days are also a necessary part of your routine.

Perseverance is key to seizing your workout time; there aren’t magical or miracle routines. Those who chase a goal (losing weight, toning muscles, building resistance) must always have this in mind.

Moreover, you must also consider that losing what you’ve accomplished is relatively easy and happens fast; in no way is it a good idea to frequently skip training days.

Exercise and diet: a necessary combination

You must complement exercise with a healthy diet.

Nutrition needs must be covered so that your workout reaches the established goals.

healthy balanced diet

It’s not compulsory to follow a strict diet that removes certain foods completely, but you do have to consider that good health and junk food form an impossible combination. 

Lack of time is not an excuse

Many people claim that they don’t have enough time in their daily lives to exercise. However, you must do what you can, so that this factor doesn’t become a reason to lead a sedentary life. 

The habit of walking to the office, to college or to the supermarket is very healthy. It is also good to use the stairs instead of the elevator as much as possible.

Movement is life and our health sees the benefits of it. There are many workout options that will fit into our daily schedule. Lack of time is not an excuse.


This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.