We all know we should be getting regular exercise but how do you know if your weekly workouts are working for you?
Is your exercise routine as efficient as it could be? Are you maximising your results? Take this quiz to find out!
1. How much exercise do you do per week?
a) Not sure, it changes every week. Maybe 1-2 hours.
b) 2-3 hours on average.
c) I try and do an hour every day.
2. Describe your workouts
a) Medium intensity
b) A mixture of high intensity and moderate exercise.
c) Hardcore with a boot-camp style approach!
How do you feel during your workouts?
a) Bored and fed up!
b) Out of breath and sweaty but I like a challenge!
c) In pain but I love feeling the burn!
How do you feel after?
a) A bit tired but I don’t really feel any different.
b) Achy but fitter and stronger.
c) Burnt out and very sore.
How long is your recovery time?
a) Not too long, usually a few hours.
b) A day or two.
c) I don’t like taking rest days. When it comes to doing my next workout, I’m usually still sore from the workout before.
What results are you getting?
a) I have hit a bit of a plateau and no longer seem to be making any progress.
b) I am getting fitter, managing to lose weight/maintain a healthy weight and I’m starting to see a difference in my body shape and definition.
c) Results are up and down. I can definitely see improvements but I’m not losing as much weight as I should be with all this exercise. Also, I thought I would be feeling fitter but I’m always exhausted!
What is your life/workout balance?
a) I struggle to fit exercise in around work, family and social life and haven’t got enough time to commit to a regular workout routine.
b) I make exercise a priority and schedule it into my free time. I stick to a routine but allow some flexibility when special occasions crop up.
c) I wouldn’t miss a workout for anything! I exercise as much as possible every week.
How much effort do you put in when you are exercising?
a) I go at my own pace but sometimes need a kick up the bum!
b) Always try my best and give 100%. I like to push myself but listen to my body and know when to rest.
c) No pain, no gain! I push myself to the limit. If it’s not a long, gruelling session I don’t consider it a good workout.
Mostly a)s Turn it up – Time to up the ante!
So, you are no longer progressing and have started to dread working out. It sounds like your workout routine has become stale and your exercise habits have become very sporadic. Exercise is only beneficial if you are doing it regularly. It’s a case of use it or lose it and you only get out what you put in. But, to be motivated enough to put in 100% you need to find exercise you enjoy. If not, those exercise avoiding excuses may start to creep in!
Schedule workouts in your diary like you would important meetings. We all struggle to find time in our busy working lives but sessions do not have to be long and time-consuming! Up the intensity and you won’t need to work out for as long, half the time in fact. The NHS says vigorous activity can bring health benefits over and above that of moderate activity. This means exercise that makes you breathe hard and fast, such as aerobics, running or riding a bike.
Mostly b)s Perfect – Keep calm and carry on!
Congratulations, you are exercising efficiently and effectively! You are doing the recommended amount and type of exercise per week. While ever you are seeing progress with your fitness, body and ability, then your workout is working for you. Many people equate sore muscles to a successful workout. However, as you become fitter and stronger you will experience less soreness and recover faster as your body adapts to your routine. Muscle soreness will usually occur when you try something new your body isn’t used to doing. It’s good to keep challenging yourself and I advise it, but so long as you are seeing results and enjoying your exercise then there is no need to change what you are doing. Keep up the good work!
Mostly c)s Overkill – Time to tone it down!
You’re definitely overdoing it and it’s affecting your workout results. If you don’t give yourself enough time to recover in between exercise sessions you will not be able to workout to your full potential and run the risk of injury and physical burnout. Long endurance sessions can also cause the body to store energy as fat to ensure you have plenty of reserves to keep going. This may be why you are not seeing the results you want! The NHS advises you need either 2 and a half hours of moderate aerobic exercise a week or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity alongside strength exercises. Effective exercise is all about intensity not time; quality not quantity. So, no more long slogs!