How Often and How Long Should You Workout?
How many days are you supposed to train? This is a question that we are constantly asked. My answer is: Whatever fits your lifestyle. That being said, you do need to get there at least 2 days a week, and 3 would be even that much better. One thing to make sure, is that you are consistent with your exercising. Some weeks you may only get there once, other weeks, 3-4 times, and sometimes, you won’t even get there at all. The goal here is to BE CONSISTENT. So, as long as you get there, on average, twice a week, that is great. And if you don’t get to exercise one week, don’t beat yourself up. Just tell yourself “no worries”, and get back at it the next week.
Let’s go over some guidelines now that we know that we shouldn’t be stressing out about exercise time. You will see benefits from exercising, even if you’re going as little as two times a week. These benefits will be from muscle growth, bone density, self-esteem, confidence, etc. For even better results, I would focus on getting to the gym or exercising about 4 times a week. A combination of strength, cardio and flexibility. It is very important to keep a proper balance of these 3 things. They all have benefits, and all though you may enjoy doing one more than the other, please do your best to keep all three activities during the week.
Now for your routine: It’s great to break up going to the gym every other day. Another way that you could do it is: two days on/ one day off/ two days on and then take the weekend off. That is the split that I’ve previously done. It works great for my schedule, and keeps me feeling great. The key is to make sure that you have proper ‘recovery’ days. You need to rest your body to get those gains that you want. But like I said, it is important that you just get your workouts in, and be consistent with them. If you want to go to the gym 3-4 days in a row, then so be it. Let me be the one to say that you really should have some form of exercise every day, not just inside the gym. Walking, hiking, gardening, biking, yoga, swimming, etc. There are many ways that you can be active without going to the gym. It is super important to move and be active almost every day!
Now, let’s talk about what time you go to the gym and how long should you stay there. I find it best to go in the morning, for me, to get it done and out of the way. That is one of the biggest reasons that I do this, but once again, It’s not necessary. If you can get there in the evening, then that is fine also. I just find when you get it done in the morning, it sets the day up for success, and nothing can interrupt you later. You need to go when is best time for you and what best fits your lifestyle. You may find that you have more energy in the evening, and that is the best time for you. IT’S ALL GOOD!!
As for the length of time that you should spend there; Most people cannot spend all day in the gym. I feel that even 20-30 minutes a day, 2-4 days a week, will have you getting great results, along with a healthy diet. Myself, I spend about 60-75 minutes, this includes 30 minutes of a workout, 15-20 minutes of cardio and 15-20 minutes of stretching. This way, I cover all areas of my training within that time. If you only have 30 minutes to spend there, then do a 5 minute warm up and cool down, and 20 minutes of strength and cardio. You may switch those times depending on your goals and needs. You may need to work on flexibility, so you would put more time into flexibility work. Let the goal be the goal.
**Below is taken from the mayo clinic website and what they recommend for exercise.
- Aerobic activity.Get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week, or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity. The guidelines suggest that you spread out this exercise during the course of a week.
- Strength training.Do strength training exercises for all major muscle groups at least two times a week. Aim to do a single set of each exercise, using a weight or resistance level heavy enough to tire your muscles after about 12 to 15 repetitions.
If you have any questions or concerns on your workouts or workout routines, email or comment, and I will get back to you as soon as I can. Thanks for stopping by, and I look forward hearing from you.