If you’re planning to start a new fitness plan, then good for you! Deciding to get healthy and get more active isn’t always easy, but it’s something you’ll be happy you did.
However, if you’re new to the world of exercise then things can get pretty confusing pretty quickly. One of the burning questions many people have is how often they should workout.
What Do You Want to Achieve?
How often you need to workout does depend on what you want to achieve. In this article, it’s assumed that you’re a fitness beginner. In which case, you probably just want to feel healthier and make sure you’re getting enough activity to maintain a decent, everyday level of fitness.
Experts recommend beginners to workout for at least 20 minutes in a single day, three times a week. This gives you plenty of time for rest days for your body to recover. You can break those 20 minutes up into smaller sessions, or do it all in one go. And, once you get fitter, you can definitely extend this into longer workouts.
Note that you can also make a schedule that includes both moderate (e.g. fast walking) and high intensity (e.g. running) exercise. The latter will help you burn more calories in a shorter space of time, by really pushing your body to the max.
Don’t Forget Strength Training
In addition to your 3×20 minute cardio sessions per week, you should consider incorporating strength training into your routine. You can perform strength-training exercises on a couple of your rest days each week.
There are a number of benefits to strength training – in short it will help you build up muscle. This raises your metabolism and makes it possible to burn more calories during your cardio exercise.
Sometimes Less is More…
Although you need to workout regularly, don’t think that you can get away with pushing yourself to the max every single day as a way to get fit and lose weight super quickly. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. While you need to make sure you’re working out enough each week, you also need to make sure you don’t push yourself too hard.
Your body isn’t used to all of this physical activity, and that means it needs time to repair itself and adapt. Yes, go beyond your comfort zone, but listen to your body if you experience pain, and always take a couple of rest days each week.