Is 30 Minutes Really Enough??

July 2010

Our clients ask us all the time if thirty minutes is really enough time to put in at the gym.  The answer is both yes and no.  Yes, it is enough time to spend in the weight room or working with a trainer.  But NO, it is not enough time to include ALL of your exercise for that day.  The Surgeon General recommends that you get “one hour of physical activity most days” … so, that’s double the time that you are spending with a trainer and that’s usually only two or three times per week … not  “most days.” 

 The reason we do thirty minute workouts is so that you have to take responsibility for your fitness program.  Let’s do a little math … let’s say you see a trainer two times per week, that’s about one hour.  There are 168 hours in a week, so that means your commitment to personal training is equal to about  .5% of your week.  Doesn’t really sound like enough to effect much change, does it?!  That’s where you come in! 

Now let’s bump that total number of hours exercising to 6 hours per week … that’s equal to about 3.5% of your week.  Now we’re getting somewhere!  If we compare that to some of your other weekly activities…you spend about 10.5 hours at meals (6.25%), 40 hours at work (yeah right … like we  believe that! 24%), and 56 hours sleeping (33.3%).  This kinda puts the whole exercise commitment thing into perspective.  Six hours is a minimum! 

Let’s start thinking of exercise as movement … so this just means we need to move more!!  All kinds of movement counts: walking the dog, cleaning the shower, mowing the lawn (triple points in this heat! Just kidding).  But two of your six hours must be higher intensity exercise that is done for the sake of doing exercise.  Let’s all start keeping a log of our exercise week.  We’ll break it down into minutes.  So we have to get 300 minutes this week with 100 of those minutes being higher intensity.  And let’s sweeten the pot a little bit … your Saturday night glass of wine or your piece of chocolate cake is conditional upon your success.  Let’s all go get moving!  If you need help knowing what “intense” means, ask your trainer for help.

Let me know if there’s a topic you would like me to discuss in my fit tips.

Joe Montgomery
Owner, Personal Trainer
Industrial Strength Inc.