Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Magic 200 Minutes

After much thought and practical experimentation I have come up with the figure of 200 minutes as the ideal total time per week to perform reasonably rigorous exercise. That's exercise like running, fast cycling, weights and other gym type exercises - exercises that leave you puffed and sweating. This equates to about four hours per week which is actually 240 minutes but then it takes into account periods of resting during the routines.

Four sessions of one hour each per week, say on Tesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday should suffice. This is actually not all that much although it is enough to reshape muscles and ward off weight gain and probably not enough to risk over-training. Any more than this and one runs the risk of over-exercising and experiencing a bit of metabolic breakdown resulting in a forced rest period of several days to a weeks duration.

This advice is for the middle-aged and above as I am sure a younger person could safely do more. However I see no benefit in doing more for the Active Survivalist unless they are training for a specific event. This level of exercise should be able to be maintained indefinetly forming an exercise habit.

If more exercise is required my advice would be to increase the intensity of the exercise rather than increase the time it takes to exercise. Run faster, lift heavier in carefully adjusted stages so that you move the joints the same amount of times but do more work. This will build strength and reduce the risk of repetitive strain injuries. You should also go hard on occasion so that training routines are not stale old slogs. After all when you are out there pushing hard, heart pounding, sweat dripping and gasping for breath you are truly alive. To be able to do this is what being an Active Survivalist is all about - it is Active Survivalist heaven.

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