Confirmed: This Is Exactly How Long You Need to Work Out to See Results
When it comes to working out, it always helps to have an end point in mind (especially when logging miles on the treadmill or sweating it out in the weight room). To that end, having a clear idea of when you'll actually start to see results can serve as one of the biggest workout motivators.
Offering some insight on the subject is Shawn Arent, a professor of kinesiology at Rutgers. He recently spoke with New York Magazine's The Science of Us about how long you need to work out each day in order to see results. "If we're talking per day, from a health standpoint, it's accumulating at least 30 minutes most, if not all, days of the week," he told the magazine. "From a fitness standpoint, however, 20 to 60 minutes a day, but that's minutes of the actual movement not of the actual bout."
This is because "intensity and volume are inversely related," he adds. "In other words, if you don't want to work out as long, work harder. If you don't like to work harder, you're going to have to work out a little bit longer." In short, aim to exercise for at least 30 to 60 minutes per a day, and design more strenuous workouts on the days when you have less time to exercise.
In terms of the workout itself, various studies point to the transformative powers of high-intensity interval training (HIIT), or alternating between short bursts of intense anaerobic exercise and less-intense recovery periods. It's essentially the most effective workout you can possibly do, with studies linking it to weight loss, anti-ageing, and improved athletic ability.