How many days a week should you workout? This question has been asked by people for ages. And, to be honest, we’ve caught ourselves wondering it forever! So, since it’s such an important and common question, we decided to find out the answer.
Exercise is a different journey for everybody. Your goals will always be different compared to the person exercising next to you. However, there are still a few guiding tips that can answer that age-old question of “how many days a week should you work out?”
Table of Contents
How Many Days a Week Should You Workout?
- How Much Exercise We Need
- How Many Days of Workouts We Need Each Week
- How You Should Spend Your Workout Days
- The Importance of Rest Days
How Much Exercise We Need
Yes, all of our goals are different. Though there are some highly recommended health recommendations that every adult should strive to follow! The Department of Health and Human Services advises that adults should be getting one of the following, at the very minimum:
- 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week
- 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity per week
Additionally, it’s recommended to complete strength training workouts at least twice per week.
Aerobic activity can be defined as a cardiovascular activity that increases your heart rate and gets you breathing. This increase in breathing and heart rate is often sustained for a longer period of time. We’re talking long walks or runs, not sprints!
150 minutes may not seem like much at first glance. That’s only two and a half hours! Though, guidelines also suggest that you should split this activity up into bunches, rather than doing it all in one go (plus, who can work out for 150 minutes straight? Not us!)
Now that you know how much activity you should be doing in a week let’s take a look at the specific question of how many days a week should you workout.
How Many Days of Workouts We Need Each Week
As we’ve already discussed, you don’t want to put all of your eggs in one basket and complete your weekly workout in one day. You also shouldn’t spread it out as thin as possible, working out each day in a week.
Working out every single day isn’t safe, nor is it efficient. This can increase your risk of injury, as you’re not giving yourself proper rest. 150 minutes spread across the week also only gives you a little more than 20 minutes of exercise a day. That’s hardly enough to get yourself in the zone!
Four days is often considered the best course of action when asking yourself how many days a week should you workout. If this doesn’t feel like enough, you can always add an extra day or two of lighter exercises.
Image courtesy of Unsplash.
How You Should Spend Your Workout Days
If you’ve decided that four days of exercise works for you and your schedule, you’re already on track to making it work! The way that you spend your days, however, is more up for debate. This is where your unique goals will come into play.
If you’re training for a marathon, you probably don’t want to spend all four of your workout days lifting weights and doing nothing else. Alternatively, those looking to increase their muscle mass shouldn’t go for runs each day and max out their endurance before they even hit the iron.
If weight loss is your goal, you may want to consider three days of core cardio workouts like running, jogging, brisk walking, and rowing. This will help you work up a sweat and shed some pounds. Your fourth day can be focused on weight training. You can also mix light weights into your other workouts to hit that recommendation of two strength days per week.
Looking to build muscle? Spend three days focusing on strength training. Many recommendations encourage you to work each muscle group frequently throughout the week. So, combination days that allow for full-body workouts are often a smart route to take in order to exercise efficiently.
If strength is your goal, never forget that cardio is a part of the equation. Taking a day off of strength training to go for a run or just get your heart pumping will do wonders for your circulatory system and endurance levels.
The Importance of Rest Days
We’re all eager to learn how many days a week should you workout. But we should also be asking ourselves how many days of rest we need each week!
Rest days are crucial for our bodies. It helps us recover from the stress of the week, reduces the risk of injury, and helps your body do its job.
With our four-day-a-week plan, that leaves you with three devoted to rest. However, it won’t look like four straight days of exercise and 3 days of rest. In fact, spreading it out is often better. A great schedule may look like:
- Monday: Exercise
- Tuesday: Exercise
- Wednesday: Rest
- Thursday: Exercise
- Friday: Rest
- Saturday: Exercise
- Sunday: Rest
This gives your body enough time to rest and recover between days of workouts. You can also format this schedule differently depending on your daily schedule. You may find working out on the days that you’re off work are easier, or you may enjoy the opposite!
Hate staying still? There are a few activities that you can do any day of the week with less worry about overworking yourself. So, get moving with these types of exercises whenever you please!
- Leisurely walks
- Light dancing
- Light swimming
Image courtesy of Unsplash.
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So, how many days a week should you workout? We think that four days each week is a great place to start. What you do on those days is up to you! Just remember: you deserve to relax when you aren’t working out!