Why Do Exercise Needs Vary Between Individuals?

Exercise is a universal thing in many ways. We all need to participate in it in some form or another. And its benefits are unmatched, it can help improve our physical health and even our mental health too. 

However, just because we all need exercise doesn’t mean we all have the same exercise needs. No two people are ever exactly alike and all these different and unique factors that make you you can influence your exercise needs. 

Why Do Exercise Needs Vary Between Individuals?

This is why you may have noticed that a certain exercise plan has worked wonders for a friend or family member, but hasn’t really made much of a difference for you.

So, in this article, we’re going to take the time to look at some of the main reasons why exercise needs will vary from person to person. And we’ll even help you determine what kind of exercise routine will be most effective for you. 

Ready to learn more? Then keep on reading! 

Factors That Influence Your Exercise Needs

Right, so let’s jump straight into it and look at some of the main factors that will influence an individual’s exercise needs. 

Fitness Goals 

This is arguably one of the most important factors to determine the kind of exercise needs that fit you and your lifestyle. There are many different types of fitness goals out there and there are a whole host of different exercises that can be tailored to that specific goal. 

So, for instance, one fitness goal might be to lose weight, while another’s goal might be to run a marathon, and another might be to bulk up and build muscle.

While there might be a few universal exercises that all of these three individuals will partake in, they won’t all want to do the exact same thing. 

The exercises that are likely to bulk you up and give you rippling muscles aren’t going to be the exercises that someone who’s trying to slim down will be doing.

And someone training for a marathon will also be doing something entirely different.

For example, aerobic activity with a mix of weight training is optimal for weight loss while more cardiovascular endurance and strength training will be more effective for our marathon runner. 

Current Fitness Level 

You may also have massively different exercise needs compared to your family or friends, for example, due to your current level of fitness. 

So, think of it like this. If your friend has been running marathons or training for them for months or years and you’re starting your very first run of the year, you’re not going to be working at the same levels.

They are likely to be performing much more intense exercises, running for longer periods, or running much quicker.

Whereas you, on the other hand, might be just starting light periodic fast-walks or jogs to get your body used to running for the first time. 

Here, both of you are doing the right thing, but not the same thing. You both just have different exercise needs based on your level of fitness. 

Other Factors

Other factors that may influence your exercise needs are more personal factors such as your age, weight, height, and health status.

So, for example, a 21-year-old is much more likely to partake in vigorous and strenuous activity than someone who is 65 years old.

And someone with a health condition is also more likely to partake in something a little less intense than someone who is in their prime. 

Again, no one here is wrong for the exercise activities they choose to partake in. It’s just that they need to conform to their personal and specific needs and circumstances. 

How Much Exercise Do You Need? 

With all this information in mind, you may now be wondering exactly how much exercise is needed for you specifically. And of course, there’s no absolute answer to this question.

As we’ve just learned, everybody’s exercise journey is different and it will depend on your current fitness level as well as your goals. 

However, there is a general rule of thumb that you can follow in terms of age. You’ll need to also keep all those other influential factors in mind, though. 

Why Do Exercise Needs Vary Between Individuals? (1)

Young Children (3-5 Years)

A young child between the ages of 3 to 5 should really be getting some form of exercise every day according to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC.)

However, this doesn’t have to be particularly strenuous. As long as the child is engaging in active play and fun activities throughout the day, that should be more than enough. 

Older Children (6-17 Years)

At this age, it is ideal to be getting around 60 minutes of moderate to intense physical activity per day. There should, at this stage of life, be more of an emphasis to ensure that you include both aerobic and strength training into your weekly schedule. 

Activities such as sports like soccer games or basketball games are a great choice for aerobic exercise. As is running or swimming. Then climbing, gymnastics, and using a jump rope are great ways to add in some strength training. 

Adults (18-64 Years)

Adults should be trying, for the most part, to include around 150 minutes of exercise per week. The easiest way to achieve this is to usually set aside around 30 minutes for 5 days of the week.

On two of those 5 days, the exercises should include strength training of some kind. 

For adults over 65, the same rules apply, however, they should also try to incorporate exercises that also promote better balance. 

Final Thoughts 

As we have learned from this article, no two people will ever have the exact same exercise needs. This can be due to personal factors such as age, weight, and health.

But it will also come down to your level of fitness and your specific goals. 

So, try not to focus too much on what other people you know are doing. Because just because it works for them doesn’t automatically mean that it’ll be a good fit for you too.

Consider your own goals and your level of fitness and find a regime that is suited for you and watch as you achieve the results you’re after! 

Laura Simmons
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