We know how important exercise is to our physical and mental health, but what happens if you can’t stick to your usual fitness routine for a period of time? If you’ve been in decent shape, having to start over is no fun, but sometimes work or life gets in the way of fitness time. So if you want to maintain your current level of fitness, what’s the minimum amount of working out you can do to stay fit? That’s what a new study set out to answer.
Researchers focused on three basic variables:
- Frequency – how many days a week you work out
- Intensity – How heavy, fast, or intense the workout is
- Volume – How many sets, reps and intervals you do.
And it turns out, you can work out fewer times, but when you do work out, you have to go just as long and hard as before. Basically, if you want to stay fit while cutting back on exercise for a period of time, you can work out less often, or you can work out for shorter amounts of time, but you can’t go easier. And that’s because, like with a lot of things, quality makes all the difference.