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Run 30 minutes every day or 60 minutes 3 times per week?

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Run 30 minutes every day or 60 minutes 3 times per week?

There is lots of controversy about length and frequency of workouts. I will address different points of view, depending on your objective and the reason why you are exercising, putting in light the attributes of each method in order for you to make an educated decision.

60 Minute Exercise

Exercising for 60 minutes will benefit in this sense; it will get your system into overdrive, meaning that you will burn more calories. The muscles around will also participate as the major muscles will get tired and will need help to continue for the extra 30 minutes. Think about a hockey team. There are 5 players on the ice and they improve their game and get stronger. Once tired, they go back to the bench, the other players get to go on the ice and play. If the 5 main players never get tired, then they won’t go back to the bench and the other players won’t get a chance to get better. So that is what the 60 minutes of exercise will do. It will force your body to create more muscle fibers once they reach the fatigue point. The muscles push the fat away and increase in strength. Like giving a chance to other players to get some ice time.

However, it is a double edge sword. Most of us, when we feel tired, have a hard time pushing as hard and keeping our form. So we tend to give up some of our energy spent in the name of fatigue. We kind of slack off to say this in a term that we all understand… so the second half of our run isn’t as effective as the first half hour. If we could give the same amount of energy in the second half, then the second half would be worth it. But given the fact that we do not expend as much during longer workouts, for some people, shorter periods of exercise might be more beneficial. Beyond 2 hours, we even start producing cortisol, which will even keep our body from burning fat. So ‘the longer the better’ is not true.

In light of this, we realize that it is not the length that counts, but the intensity.

30 Minute Exercise

Not only a more succinct amount of exercise will allow you to give your all and maintain intensity throughout, a shorter workout will also protect your joints. As running is an impact activity, it might be better to run for a shorter time and give your joints less impact. Once tired, the bouncing action can create damage. With this in mind, small run might be better. Also, if you do a shorter run, you might want to increase the speed with intervals, going full on for 30 sec or a minute, then slowing down… then full on again, then slowing down… these intervals will allow you to burn fat. The other factor in the title of this article mentions to everyday. That might be a lot on your joints to constantly put them under impact. You may want to find other cardio vascular activity that will be more forgiving on your joints.

So bottom line is: know yourself. I do not believe in any magic pill or any ONE thing. I cannot say that one is better than the other. They both have pros and cons. So do both…. Get 1 or 2 good 60 min. workouts and make sure you fully give yourself in the second half and the other days, do smaller workouts. I do believe in variety. So, to run 6 days per week (even only 30 minutes) is a bit much. Maybe run 2 times only for 30 minutes – 1 time 60 minutes and then other 4 days should include 1 cross training, 1 weight lifting (strength training), 1 flexibly-training, 1 day of rest.

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