So, how many times a week should you be exercising?
Frankly, there is no definite answer to this. Most health and fitness experts have their own take on this and nobody has come to a single unanimous conclusion on how many times a person should exercise.
In this article, we give you a number based on the opinion of a majority – if not all of fitness experts. But why is it so difficult to to say for certain how many times an individual should exercise?
Well, it’s possible you know someone who works out 6 times a week and yet gets results that can only be described as below average. Then you have a friend who works out just a couple of times a week at the gym and has a ripped body. So, just because someone works out more times a week doesn’t mean he or she is going to be fitter, leaner, or stronger.
The reason for this is that exercise is just one part of the equation when it comes to achieving health and fitness. There are so many other factors involved, such as – do you get enough rest to allow your body to recover from the strain of a physical activity?
Do you have healthy, wholesome meals that are high in protein and low in carbs? Rest and nutrition are just as important to fitness and bodybuilding as exercise.
That being said, how many days should you exercise? Well, a good answer to that is, you should exercise as often as your social, professional and family life will allow you to. And once you arrive at a number, scale back slightly, till you are perfectly comfortable.
If you are student living alone, without any family commitments, you could probably afford to exercise 6 times a week. Now, since that is too much and you will have a social life as well, you can scale that back slightly – to 4 to 5 times a week.
If you are a professional with a family, then it would probably be too much to exercise 6 times a week. You should aim to exercise 4 times a week, and perhaps scale that back to 2 to 3 times a week.
Now, how many times you exercise also depends on whether you do weight training at the gym or cardio, or a combination of both. Weight training should never be done every day. When you perform resistance exercises, your muscles get tired and require rest.
It is important to give them a recovery time of at least 24-48 hours, so that the damaged or strained muscle fibers can heal and repair themselves. So, aim to do just 2 to 3 weight training sessions in a week.
And if you’re doing cardio workouts – how often you should do them depends on the intensity of the cardio activity. If your cardio consists of brisk walking, you should be able to do it 6 times a week quite comfortably; if it’s jogging, bicycling or running, you should do it 3 to 4 times a week. And if your cardio consists of HIITs (or high intensity interval training), you should only do it 2 to 3 times a week.
The most important thing is to give yourself enough rest in between exercise sessions, whether you do cardio or resistant training. Scheduling at least a couple of rest days a week is important as it helps you relax mentally and emotionally in addition to giving your muscles ample recovery time. This ensures that you don’t get burned out or stressed – which can happen if you push yourself too hard.