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How Often You Should Work Out Per Week
How often should you exercise to meet your fitness goals? Whether you’re just starting a workout routine or are a seasoned gym-goer, you’ve undoubtedly wondered: how many days a week should I exercise? And how long should I exercise for each session? It can be tough to strike a balance. Busy schedules and a lack of enthusiasm can often derail even the most well-laid plans. Regular exercise is a common objective that you can accomplish in various ways.
There are more possibilities for those willing to push themselves than ever before; from gym courses to internet-guided exercises at home, there is likely to be a style that suits you. A combination of strength and endurance routines will often keep you from becoming bored while also providing significant benefits. But what are the opinions of health specialists and researchers? We look at how often we should exercise each week, how long it takes to get in shape, and its advantages.
Adults should engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week, such as cycling or swimming, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In addition, the CDC recommends that individuals engage in at least two days of muscle-strengthening activities every week. The activities may seem like a lot, but they can be divided into smaller parts to fit into a busy schedule. 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise per week, combined with two days of strength training, is a suitable choice if you are short on time or prefer something more intensive.
We recommend 150–300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical exercise against 75–150 minutes of vigorous-intensity workouts for the average adult and limiting daily times of prolonged sitting. You can venture outside for some fresh air or stretch to relieve muscle tension.
How Often Should You Work Out Each Week?
If you want to increase your fitness level, the number of days you need depends on how active you are already. If you don’t already work out, one day a week will provide physical and mental rewards, but if you’re used to many training days a week, one day won’t challenge your body enough to maintain your fitness or make improvements.
The breakdown varies based on your personal goals, but if you’re looking to improve or maintain your fitness, four to five days a week should be enough. Of course, if you’re just getting started and haven’t exercised before, that can be too much of a leap to make at first, and it could turn you off working out entirely. Instead, start with two sessions as a suitable beginner fitness regimen each week. You can progressively increase the number of days.
What Are the Benefits of Regular Exercise?
You’ll be on your way to a healthy lifestyle if you exercise 150–300 minutes every week. Regular exercise has several short-term and long-term advantages. Here are a few examples:
- Regular exercise will help you sleep better, saving you from becoming exhausted during your workout.
- Regular exercise can help lessen depression and anxiety symptoms.
- With adequate rest and suitable dietary modifications, you may be able to shed or keep your present weight.
- As your body develops, and your health improves, you may discover that your confidence grows and your overall quality of life increases.
- Exercise puts additional stress on your body, strengthening your bones and muscles over time.
- Lower chance of injury and falling as your body strengthens. While the unexpected can still happen, leading a healthy lifestyle can help you live longer.
So, what kind of schedule should you stick to? Here are some suggestions for a well-balanced and effective weekly workout routine.
3-Day Workout Routine
If you have three days a week to exercise, try doing full-body workouts each time. With only three workouts per week, your body will have plenty of time to recuperate between sessions, allowing you to engage all of your muscle groups safely. Monday-Wednesday-Friday is a popular three-day schedule, but any combination would suffice as long as you receive enough recovery in between workouts.
4-Day Workout Routine
You can include full-body workouts, isolation workouts, or a combination of both in a four-day plan. It’s all about how you schedule your workout days. If you went to the gym Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday, you might do full body, lower body, upper body, and full body. Four full-body workouts per week may be too much for a beginner.
5-Day Workout Routine
A split workout plan will benefit you the most if you commit to a five-day workout program. This weight-training regimen divides workouts into body areas, usually upper-and lower-body training. Split Training includes separating muscle groups and working them on various days to get the most out of each training session. On Tuesdays, for example, you might do a lower-body split, and on Thursdays, you might do an upper-body split. Split Training provides for a more severe workout of one body part, followed by several days of rest before you work out that exact part again. If you only have an hour to work out each day, a split plan will allow you to focus on one or two muscle groups each day with more sets and heavier weights.
How Often to do Cardio vs. Weights
Cardio: 2–3 times each week
As crucial as weight training is, cardio has a place in a well-balanced workout plan. Cardio keeps your circulatory system in top shape, which helps you recover faster and maintain your endurance. Whether anything is cardiovascular is determined by your heart rate and the amount of time you spend doing it. Although everyone’s target heart rates vary, a decent baseline to aim for during cardio workouts is between 120 and 150 beats per minute for 45 to 60 minutes.
You have a plethora of cardio options: an outdoor jog, a bike ride, and so on. Functional movements like agility work can also count as cardio if you do enough reps in a short period to keep your heart rate up. Interval training is another alternative in which you work hard for a short period and then rest for a while. What’s the best part? You can do interval training with almost anything: running, a bike, functional exercises, and so on.
You can choose from a variety of cardio classes. Running classes and other heart-pumping activities are just a few examples. Consider two days of moderate aerobic activity and two days of vigorous aerobic activity or high-intensity interval training (HIIT) if you want to lose weight.
Strength training: 2–3 times each week
Strength exercise is critical for keeping your body functioning throughout time. It aids in preventing bone and muscle loss that occurs as people age. It also helps to strengthen your joints. Work with each muscle group two to three times each week to increase muscular mass. So, if you’re doing a two- to three-day strength program, you should try to complete full-body workouts giving yourself 48 hours to recover between them.
It would help if you targeted the primary muscle groups in your upper and lower body, such as your glutes, chest, shoulders, arms, and back, as well as some core exercises. Compound exercises can help with that.
It would be best to strike a balance between pushing and pulling exercises. Strength training isn’t only about lifting weights or using machines; mastering bodyweight moves will also put your muscles to the test. At least three times per week, you should be lifting weights. Your current fitness level will determine how you plan your exercises and how many days you dedicate to strength training. In each of the three strength workouts, you should execute new moves but repeat them every week.
Why You Need Rest Days From the Gym
Rest aids recovery, and muscle-building magic happens during rest, rather than training. Your muscles become weary and damaged when you exercise, and they require rest to regenerate and recover. You may genuinely reach a catabolic and damaging state if you continue to pound your muscles without giving them a break.
Even though you’re sore, you can still be active on rest days. Rest days do not have to be lazy days. Active recovery can be more beneficial than passive recovery. Gentle movement, such as a lengthy walk, or a slow bike ride, promotes blood flow to weary muscles and can hasten healing.
It’s easy to understand how regular exercise might benefit your health. To avoid injury, eat well, remain hydrated, and be aware of your body, regardless of how you get those 150 minutes in. It’s important to remember that making fitness a part of your weekly routine requires consistency and gradual growth.