Personal Trainers Show Us How to Get More Fitness Out of Our Weekends

Still subscribing to the conventional wisdom that you need to be exercising several times a week to see any noticeable results? Canary Wharf Personal trainers have uncovered new science that’ll soon have you rethinking your workout schedule.

In a country where nearly half of the population doesn’t exercise consistently, and every living soul is seemingly looking for more time to dedicate to fitness, EU residents are ready for new ideas. Frankly, the biggest fitness challenge for most Londoners with a full-time job and family is finding the time to dedicate to an exercise routine that can help them lose weight and stay fit.

We’ve all heard the ‘rules of the game.’ How long our workouts should be, how many days a week we ought to be doing cardio versus strength training, and the like. However, personal trainers (PTs) and fitness professionals will tell you that a lot of those answers are just…recommendations. And yes. Those answers are often based on tried-and-true scientific studies done on swaths of willing participants. But that doesn’t do us much good when we’re dog-tired after a full day of work, and we just want to relax for the night.

And that’s the problem EU society struggles with - finding the time during our week to exercise enough to make a difference in our fitness and health.

But is it a problem only because it’s based on an erroneous assumption? In other words, we seem to take it as a fact that our exercise activities won’t yield any noticeable results unless we make time to exercise for 20-minutes 4 or 5 times a week.

If this sounds like you, we’ve got some great news about your weekends. We’ve talked to a few of the prominent PTs with fitness outfits near the Isle of Dogs (Canary Wharf) on the eastern end of London; the area’s new mecca of modern health and wellness. What we learned is that PTs in Canary Wharf have been successful in applying new research that’s helping clients get all the exercise their bodies need over the course of their weekends.

How Much Exercise Do I Really Need?

It’s a question that fitness professionals are often asked: how long should my workouts be, and how often should I be doing them?

Above all else, what fitness experts want people to understand is that any exercise is better than no exercise. Even choosing to take the stairs when an elevator is available can have a positive effect on our health. And this is where people can stumble, especially if losing weight or fat loss is one of their fitness goals.

Here’s what we mean - over the last five years, 9 out of 10 adults have tried to lose weight or burn off unwanted fat. However, it’s not uncommon for people to think that if they can’t fit in a full 20- or 30-minute routine, they won’t even make the attempt to exercise. Our society seems programmed to believe that if we can’t commit to a consistent exercise routine that’s spread out over the course of our weeks, then we feel there is little point in even trying to exercise. “Not so” say the PTs we’ve talked to in London.

First, let’s look at how much exercise we really need. To answer that question, PTs referred us to the World Health Organization (WHO) 2020 guidelines on physical activity. It says that adults should be aiming to get in 150–300 minutes of moderate physical activity each week or 75–150 minutes of vigorous exercise every week.

So, if we get in our recommended levels of weekly physical activity in 2 sessions, is it equally as effective as spreading our activities out over 3 or 4 shorter workouts during our week?

The answer? Yes. It can potentially be just as effective. Even if fat loss is among your most ambitious fitness goals, your weekends provide you with all the time you need to make progress. In fact, fitness professionals tell us we can take advantage of any two days of the week; it isn’t exclusively a “weekend warrior” strategy (though it does seem to be the most common).

If that sounds appealing, the information below offers the best tips to help you get started in using your weekends to get fit.

How to Maximize Your Weekends for Fitness

The PTs that have adopted this “weekend’ strategy said they place a huge emphasis on resistance training and other muscle building activities. Resistance training qualifies as any kind of exercise activity where you’re applying tension against your muscles. For example, weightlifting, push-ups, and any other body weight exercises all qualify as resistance training.

Their strategy is to focus on doing two 15- to 20-minute strength training sessions over the weekend. For example, you can focus on upper body exercises (push-ups, resistance band curls, etc.) on the first day, and then focus on your lower body on day two. Lower body exercises include squats or lunges. This 2-day strategy can have a very positive impact on our muscle mass over time.

Here’s the key: For many of us, we won’t be too tired to do our cardio exercises afterward.

After you complete 15- 20-minutes of strength training, PTs recommend making the most of your remaining workout time by focusing on cardio exercises that engage all the major muscle groups. For example, swimming, rowing, or using an elliptical machine are all fantastic cardio activities that work every muscle group.

Don’t Overdo It!

There is one rule that our fitness friends in Canary Wharf are careful to follow when working with clients that adopt the “weekend warrior” strategy. These clients often try to make the most out of the two days they can exercise and often are tempted to push their bodies to the limit. “Bad idea” say fitness experts as this can often lead to unnecessary and preventable injuries.

If you’re a newcomer to modern fitness, or haven’t exercised in quite some time, it’s prudent to focus your time on doing shorter, low-impact aerobic exercises at first. It’s also becoming more popular to hook up with a personal trainer or fitness professional on the weekends. These professionals have the expertise and training to understand your limitations so they can design an effective workout plan that is not only tailored to your fitness goals, but also safe.

Instead of stressing over how often or how long your workouts should be, the most important takeaway from our time in eastern London is that we make the effort to come as close as we can to achieving our recommended levels of physical activity each week while being safe about it at the same time. With just a bit of discipline, the weekend may be all you need…

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