There are many workout types and exercise routines to choose from, so it isn’t too surprising that a lot of people feel overwhelmed when first getting started. It can be hard to know which kinds of exercise to include and how frequently you need to do them.
The good news is that taking some exercise will always be better than doing none, so it’s important not to be put off because you feel as if you cannot commit to a specific number of workouts each week. Even taking a brisk ten-minute walk will do you some good, so it’s important to do what you’re able to, whenever you can.
If your goal is to generally improve your fitness and overall health, it’s a good idea to incorporate several different kinds of exercise consistently into your schedule, and to reach a moderate intensity of working out during those sessions to get the best result.
If you’re active on a regular basis, you can enjoy lots of different health benefits from managing your weight more effectively to strengthening your bones, boosting your brain health, and reducing the chances of developing medical conditions in the future.
So, what is the best workout schedule to adopt to fit into your lifestyle while also achieving your fitness and health goals? It’s important to customise your schedule to your individual needs, but here are some simple guidelines to follow that will set you in good stead for success.
How Often Do I Need To Work Out?
There isn’t a single answer to this question. If you want to improve your level of fitness, you’ll need to bear in mind how active and fit you are already before deciding how many days each week you should exercise.
If you live an entirely sedentary lifestyle with no exercise at all at the moment, you’ll almost certainly start to see some results if you just do one day of exercise each week. However, if you already do a lot of exercise and are quite fit, you’ll find that just a single workout per week probably won’t be challenging enough for you to make progress or even maintain your current fitness level.
The perfect breakdown of strength and cardio work will also vary depending on what your own goals are. However, on average, 4 – 5 days each week of exercise can be ideal if you want to maintain or improve your fitness.
For those who have just started out and have never exercised for years, that could be far too much from the get-go, and if you overdo it at the beginning you could be completely turned off from doing any exercise at all. Therefore, it’s a good idea to start out by doing just two workouts each week. Once you’ve got used to doing that amount of exercise, you can gradually increase how many days you exercise.
Experts recommend that the average adult does exercise on four or five days of the week if they want to improve their overall fitness and well-being. It’s recommended that you do a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise on those days, however doing some exercise will always be better than doing none.
Therefore, depending on what your own goals are, the types of exercise that you enjoy, and whether you can access a gym, you will need to plan a workout schedule that suits your lifestyle. Nevertheless, this sample workout schedule will help to start you off in the right way with give days of exercise each week divided as follows:
Full body strength training on 3 days per week
Cardio workouts on 2 days per week
On your strength training days, you should do Pilates core work, while you should do stretching or yoga on your cardio days.
How Often Should I Do Cardio Exercise Each Week?
The amount of cardio you need to do will depend on what your goals are. If you want to shed some weight, you should do a minimum of 2 days of HIIT (high intensity interval training) each week (or a different aerobic activity such as fast walking, swimming, or spinning.)
Vigorous activities like these will burn more calories while also having an afterburn effect that ensures you don’t just burn calories while you’re working out, but afterwards too.
How Often Should I Do Strength Training Each Week?
It’s a good idea to do strength training exercises on three days of the week. Research has shown that these types of exercises will reduce your overall fat and body mass while also improving your own body image. A lot of people say they feel more confident and stronger after they complete a strength training workout.
A Sample Workout Plan For One Week
If you’re short of time, it’s possible to perform both strength training and cardio in one day, however it’s best that you don’t repeat the same strength training exercises for two consecutive days since the muscles will need some time to repair and rest. Core work, stretching, and cardio exercises can be done every day.
In this sample plan, you can see what a well-balanced workout week should look like. It includes cardio, yoga, strength training and days of rest too.
Monday: Full body strength training with yoga stretching and Pilates abs work.
Tuesday: A HIIT cardio session of 20-30 minutes, alternatively a long walk or swim.
Wednesday: A full body strength training workout with yoga stretching and Pilates abs exercises.
Thursday: A day of rest to allow the muscles to recover.
Friday: A full body strength training workout with yoga stretching and Pilates abs work.
Saturday: A 20 – 30 minute cardio HIIT workout or, alternatively, a long walk or swim.
Sunday: A day of rest to allow the muscles to recover.
As you can see, this plan covers all seven days and breaks up the workout sessions into manageable chunks that tackle every area of the body over the course of the week. Try this programme, and you’ll soon see the difference!