Number of workouts per week has strongly driven increase in exercise since 2004

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Last time I looked at how much I've been exercising over the past five years. It looked as though exercise has been increasing, but I wanted to know why. The first question to address is how more frequent sessions and longer sessions have impacted total exercise. Have totals been padded because I've made exercise a more integrated part of my life or because I've had more time to spend at the gym? First let's look at frequency of workouts:

This shows a very steady growth of ~10 extra sessions/year. I'd expect this data to be pretty noisy since the decision to exercise or not on any given day is based on so many factors, and because the data refers to ~50-70 events per 365 days. Nevertheless, four years of increases of similar magnitude is enough to convince me that something is going on.

I interpret this as a steady integration of exercise into my daily life. While I did occasionally work out in the years before 2004, it was mainly pick-up sports at infrequent intervals. I had never jogged, never used a weight room (with the exception of 3 months in 2000), and never set goals to improve my endurance, strength, flexibility, or agility.

What this means for the future is that I would expect this trend of increasing exercise to continue and gradually level off. This stands in contrast to the other factor responsible for my increase in total exercise time, which I will investigate next: length of workout.


Ken July 28, 2008 at 9:49 AM  

Could the dramatic growth from 2007 to 2008 be a result of the partial sample in 2008? Do other years show some sort of New Year's effect, with workouts dropping over the course of the year? If so, 2008 should perhaps be adjusted downward when forecasting the full year.

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