It is a common misconception to think that the longer one exercises, the greater the benefits.
There is a certain point in exercising where the benefits can be reversed into harm. That point is usually between the 30-min and 1 hour mark for most people. If you are a seasoned lifter and are conditioned, you may be able to handle 1-1.5 hours of steady lifting. Beginners that have been sedentary for quite some time should start out at no more than 30 minutes of continuous exercise. Going beyond the recommended time for exercise can damage joints and musculature through undue stress on muscles that are deoxygenated and essentially, “out of steam.”
Physical activity, however, is different from exercise. Exercise counts as physical activity, but physical activity may not always be exercise. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day, 3-5 days a week. Physical activity can be something as simple as walking. If you are trying to lose body fat, you want to get that much physical activity on the higher end at 5 days a week. Maybe go for a 30 minute walk 3 times a week, and do at-home exercises or go to the gym twice a week. Make sure to mix it up. Nothing is worse than quitting on exercise and its benefits too early because you just aren’t interested any more. Go biking! Go hiking! How about sports such as tennis or shooting hoops in the driveway? What did you do when you were a kid? Do that! Find your niche, and move to the beat of your drum, no one else’s! Find the time to get your 2.5-3 hours of physical activity in each week, because in the end, the results will be worth it. I love laying on the couch as much as the next person, but save a lazy Sunday for that!
As previously stated, though, be sure to not overwork yourself at first. More is not always better when talking about high intensity exercise duration. Pace yourself in the beginning!
Move to the beat of your own drum.