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Is it better to train long or short?

Whether you love to exercise or see it as a trip to the dentist – strenuous but necessary – you probably have a limited amount of time available to exercise. Which begs the question: How do you best use that time? If you have, say, 90 minutes a week available for exercise, what is the best use of that time – many short sessions or a few longer ones? To find the answer, we asked the professionals at the fitness app Aaptiv for some answers. (Oh, and hey: Aaptiv’s annual subscriptions are available free of charge to eligible Haven Term policyholders, via the Haven Life Plus rider.)

TL; dr: It depends

The short answer is that it depends on your fitness level. “For a beginner, you want the greatest frequency you can get, even if it means less duration per workout,”

; says Aaptiv coach Wes Pederson. This is for both psychological and physiological reasons. “To open the door to fitness, the lower the entry barrier, the more it will create the habit and then you can start building from there,” he says. It is also the case that if someone is just starting to exercise, their body can benefit from even a modest workout. (And honestly, if you have just started training, you may not have it in you to do 30 minutes from the beginning).

But, says Pederson, “we know from research that a workout is preferably at least 20 minutes. The American College of Sports Medicine also says that you must have at least 20 minutes to get a cardiovascular workout effect. Not that it can not happen in 15 minutes. , but it’s deeper when it’s 20 minutes or more. ”

When you become more alert and your body becomes more accustomed to training, you need longer training sessions for them to have an effect: “You have a higher bar to overcome” to get an advantage, says Pederson. Therefore, once someone is in the habit of training, “very early on, my goal would be to get them over the 20 minutes,” he says, and to soon get them to do “three workouts a week of 30 minutes each” instead of 6 Pass. 90 minutes. This is where the benefits really come into play.

The case for training

While this is the perfect approach, it is important to remember that the single most important thing in training is to actually do a part, whatever it is.

There is a saying among photographers that “the best camera is the one you have with you”, and there is a similar truth when it comes to training. “Everyone has different lifestyles, goals and available time, so my biggest takeaway is to make it fit into your lifestyle / schedule, so it’s something you can consistently do,” says Aaptiv NASAM and PROnatal expert Amanda Butler. “So if it works best for you to do six 15- or 20-minute sessions a week and you’re super-intentional when you do, it’s great, and much better than zero minutes.”

Fitness (and good health in general) can be a long journey, but the above guidance – and the coaches at Aaptiv – should help you get on the right track.

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