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How Often Should I Work Out?

If you’re new to the world of exercise, figuring out how many days a week you should be working out can feel like a daunting task. How do you know what’s right for you?

The good news is that there isn’t an answer that’s right for everyone. The better news is that there are a few things to keep in mind when deciding how often to work out, including your fitness goals, activity level, age and more.

In this article, we break down how many days a week you should be working out, when to take rest days and how to choose a workout schedule that suits your needs.

How often should I work out and what should I do?

If you want to boost your general health and fitness, you want to aim to exercise about five days a week. That might sound like a lot, but not every day should be intense, and your workouts can last for as little as 30 minutes.

If you’re new to exercise and want to start working out, start with a smaller goal. For example, walking 10,000 steps a day at least five days a week will help you build up your endurance and strength while also providing some extra energy and focus.

If you don’t have much time to work out, try three days a week instead of five! You can make those sessions more intense by doing more repetitions or sets with less rest in between.

You want to keep your body guessing and avoid burnout, so make sure you switch up the types of workouts you do on those five days. If you can, aim for two or three days of cardio and spend the other two or three days on strength training.

If you’re doing fewer workouts during the week, you can mix strength and cardio on those days (think: a 20-minute jog followed by 25 minutes of weight training). High-intensity interval training (HIIT) or circuit workouts can also help cut back on time while still giving your body a good sweat session, Eric Allen, owner and founder of ERA Fit, a top personal training miami  centre and gym.

If you’re trying to lose weight and build muscle, it may seem like you need two different workouts. But in reality, both cardio and weight or strength training are crucial for reaching your goals—and if you want to see results fast, it’s important to combine them.

Ultimately, finding the workout that works best for you is all about what you enjoy. If you hate running, don’t do it! If you love dancing and biking, go for it! Finding pleasure in your workout will keep you coming back for more and getting results much quicker.

What to do for Cardio workouts

If you want to get your heart rate up and burn some calories, there are many ways to do it.

But if you’re looking for the most efficient, effective way to do cardio—and get all the benefits that come with it—HIIT is your best bet.

HIIT stands for high-intensity interval training, and it’s a style of exercise in which you alternate between periods of intense effort (like running at top speed) and recovery (like walking). You may also see it referred to as “burst training.”

Because HIIT workouts are so intense, they can be done in under 30 minutes and still lead to significant improvements in health. Plus, since you’re alternating between high-intensity bursts and recovery periods, your body won’t get used to one type of movement over time (like how jogging on a treadmill every day can make running seem less challenging).

“Most importantly, you want to think about HIIT as working in spikes of effort that take you to that slightly uncomfortable feeling and then giving yourself enough recovery to repeat those efforts,” said Allen.

What to do for strength workouts 

Strength training can be a simple, straightforward process—or it can be as complicated and varied as you want to make it.

If you’re just starting out, the best way is to choose two or three exercises that work the entire body and do them in a circuit. You’ll get more out of each exercise than if you did one at a time . The bench press, deadlift, squats, shoulder press and pull-up are generally known as the big 5 of strength training.

“As long as you’re using compound movements—those exercises that work multiple muscles at once—you don’t need to worry about doing too many sets or reps,” Allen said. “If you’re lifting weights for 30 minutes, you’ll get plenty of volume.”

If you’re looking to build muscle and want to break up your strength workouts a little bit, Allen suggests doing an upper body day and a lower body day. On those upper body days, think about push-and-pull exercises like push-ups, chest presses or chest flys. Pull exercises include rows, pull-ups or lat pull-downs. You can also mix in bicep and tricep moves on these days. For lower body days, think about doing squats, lunges and hinge exercises like deadlifts

The key is making sure you start with low weights and increase them slowly as your fitness level improves. That way, you won’t risk injury or overtraining.

When To Take Rest Days

When you’re working out, your body needs time to recover and rebuild. That’s why taking rest days is so important.

Rest days are a great way to listen to your body and let it recover from the stresses of exercise. If you’re feeling tired or sore, take a rest day—it’s a chance to hydrate, meal-prep for the week ahead, get extra sleep… whatever it takes for you to feel energized and ready for your next workout!

“It’s about actively taking care of your body so you can produce efforts that support your goals, whether that’s getting strong, building lean muscles, getting fit, or losing weight,” Allen said. “It’s important that people listen to their bodies, and you must be mixing it up and adding variety.”

Working out is something that most people think they should be doing, but many struggle to commit to it. It’s a tricky balance between feeling like you’re not doing enough and feeling like you’re overdoing it. There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to how often you should work out, but these are some guidelines that can help.