Many beginners who have started an exercise routine ask the same question: how long and how often they should work out. Of course, it depends on many factors: personal goals, type of activity, fitness level, workout schedule, etc., but there are some general guidelines that we will share in the article.
WHO recommends doing at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of high-intensity exercise per week. According to studies, even this minimum is enough to reduce the risk of death from any disease by 20%.
Decide on your fitness goals
When it comes to setting fitness goals, one of the biggest mistakes people make is that they expect to see results here and now, preferably after the very first workout. But an attempt to tackle everything at once is doomed to failure.
As a rule, the three main goals of fitness are the following:
==> Staying fit
==> Losing weight
==> Building muscles
Having a measurable goal allows you to track progress, and the more specific it is, the clearer is the path to achieving it.
How many days per week should you exercise?
Most experts agree that 3-4 days per week of moderate aerobic exercise is ideal. Training does not have to be held in the gym, a 30-minute walk or regular cycling is enough. Also, it is important to devote two days to resistance training or bodyweight training, as they are very important for improving metabolism, strengthening bones and muscles.
The frequency of visiting the gym should be at least 2-3 times a week. As a rule, this option is recommended for beginners. This will be enough to develop strength and endurance. Remember, in this case, the primary goal is consistency and habit development. Over time, you can change the intensity of workouts.
In addition, proper attention should be paid to rest days to let the body recover. Many people think that if they practice every day, would lead to desired goals quickly. But in fact, it can lead to the opposite result. At this pace, it is very easy to get injured or over trained, which will only slow down the process and discourage you.
Checkout: 7-Day Beginner Program
How long should your workout last?
An effective workout lasts from 45 minutes to an hour. This includes 10 minutes warm-up, 30-40 minutes of training, and 5-10 minutes of cool-down and stretching.
Don’t neglect your warm-up and cool-down. The purpose of the warm-up is to gently activate and prepare the muscles for training. In turn, cool-down helps the body to recover after the training.
Half-hour workouts can also be effective if they include high-intensity exercises.
How much exercise do you need to improve your health and stay fit?
It’s not a secret that exercise has many benefits both curative and preventive, for physical and mental health.
Keep in mind that baseline body fat is different for everyone, which has an effect on the possible results. Although it all depends on many other factors as well, if your goal is to stay fit and healthy, 3-4 workouts per week are enough.
How often should you work out to lose weight?
Let’s start with the most important thing. If you are trying to lose weight without changing anything in your diet, you are unlikely to be successful. If you continue to consume more calories than you burn off, you will likely gain weight.
Experts recommend is to lose no more than 2-3 kg per week. This is an optimal amount for health. Be prepared that you need time for long-term effects.
Training at least four times a week is recommended for weight loss. It is important to combine aerobic and anaerobic exercises (cardio and strength). The optimal amount of cardio training is considered to be 2-3 times per week.
It’s also important to do strength training at least 2 days a week. The main advantage of strength training is that it increases metabolism, which means that you will lose weight even when you are having rest.
How often should you train to gain muscle mass?
If you want to build muscle mass, the emphasis should be on strength training. You should train 3-4 days a week.
The main rule is not to train the same muscle group for several days in a row. Use splits. This is a training program method that involves working out different muscle groups on different days.
What to do on rest days?
The rest period does not mean laziness and lying on the couch. Light training is recommended on these days. This can be stretching or a little cardio (walking, bike riding).
Regular stretching can improve blood circulation, which helps to shorten post-workout recovery time and relieve muscle soreness.
The quality of the workout is more important than the quantity
What you do at the gym is more important than how often you do it. If you go to the gym almost every day, but do not follow a fitness program and exercise technique, have a little rest you can do more harm than good.