Image via Instagram (@jodhimeares).
There’s no denying that 24 hours in the life of Jodhi Meares is probably quite different to yours or mine.
But while many have labelled her routine “ridiculous”, there’s one aspect in particular that has some experts concerned: the amount of exercise she does.
Counting up all the exercise she mentions in the Harpers Bazaar interview adds up to five and a half hours a day, including two hours of yoga, two and a half hours of walking and one hour of swimming. While we’re sure this isn’t Jodhi’s exercise routine every single day (and this is the maximum amount she does) that’s almost seven times the amount of recommended exercise a day.
“It is excessive,” says Tristan Hill of Atlas Sports Conditioning. “Most professional athletes wouldn’t train more than three to four hours a day.” (Post continues after gallery.)
“Although the exercise she is engaging in isn’t of a hugely high intensity, I would struggle to believe she would have adequate techniques to recover from doing that volume day in, day out, such as nutrition or massage,” he says.
“It’s hard to say how detrimental it could be without knowing exactly what she’s eating, but excessive exercise and over-training has definite health risks,” agrees personal trainer Kirsty Welsh.
“Risks include adrenal fatigue which can then lead to chronic fatigue, as well as other injuries,” she says.
If the training is sustained for an excessive period of time, Hill warns Meares could even be at risk of auto-immune diseases due to elevated cortisol levels.
If you’re like me and feeling a little shamed by the fact that you’d be lucky to do six hours of exercise a week, don’t be.
“You definitely shouldn’t feel bad if you don’t do that much!” says Welsh. “It’s a lot more than is required to stay healthy.”
“You don’t need to be doing that much at all,” agrees personal trainer and former World Ironman Guy Leech.
"To stay healthy, making sure you're doing 10,000 steps a day as well as 30 to 45 minutes of exercise that gets your heart rate up is good enough".
"Meares is doing a good mix of things - walking is great, as is swimming for increasing your aerobic capacity and yoga is really good for stretching - but it takes up a lot of time," he says.
"The average person certainly doesn't have five hours in a day to devote to exercise! So good luck to her, but it's definitely not practical."
For those looking to more than the minimum, Hill recommends doing exercise for no more than two hours a day. Jodhi is clearly loving her routine - but it's best to choose what works for you as an individual.
"The average person should look at seven to 10 hours a week as a safe maximum through a combination of resistance training, cardio and mobility training. Anything greater and professional guidance is recommended," he says.
"I'd like to see people moving as much as possible most days of the week," says Leech.
"Even smaller things like taking the stairs or walking to the corner shop for your paper and coffee rather than driving."
And if you can't find a full hour at once, don't be afraid to split the time and do some exercise in the morning and some at night.
"Your body doesn't count in hour blocks - if you do 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes when you get home from work, it will have the same effect. Your body doesn't discriminate," he says.
"Jodhi has lots of time to devote to exercise and good for her, but the rest of us don't have that luxury of time. Something is better than nothing and every little bit helps.
How much exercise do you think is too much? How much would you do a day?