Whether you’re just starting your fitness journey or you’re a proven workout aficionado, you may find yourself wondering,
“Do I really need an exercise schedule?”
The short answer is: yes! Athletes of all levels will benefit from consistency in their workout schedule.
Create a weekly fitness schedule and stick to it to reap the most rewards of your fitness efforts.
How Often Should I Exercise?
The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans issued by the US Department of Human Services recommends that every week, adults should find time for:
- 2.5 to 5 hours of moderate aerobic physical activity, 1.25 to 2.5 hours of vigorous aerobic physical activity, or an equivalent combination spread throughout the week
- 5 hours of moderate physical activity, if you’re looking to earn additional health benefits
- 2 days of muscle-strengthening activities
- A conscious effort to move more despite a sedentary workday
How Many Days a Week Should You Exercise?
One of the most frequently asked questions about constructing an exercise schedule is, “How many days a week should I exercise?” We know how many hours per week health experts recommend, but how should they be split up?
While there’s no one-size-fits-all perfect fitness schedule, there are some general rules of thumb to keep in mind:
- Exercise 4 to 5 days per week. Many people prefer to schedule their workouts around the workweek grind. Ultimately, though, the format is up to you. What will you stick to?
- Incorporate 3 days of strength training. A standard fitness formula involves 3 days of strength training a week. Target major muscle groups during each session to blast your body into tip-top shape.
- Complete 2 days of cardio. Many people prefer to separate their cardio and strength training, while others like to mix it up and train both together. Combination workout days may be more useful for experienced athletes looking to take their gym sessions to the next level.
- Always plan at least 2 days of rest. Scheduling rest days is as important as scheduling your cardio and strength training sessions! Overtraining and injury will derail your fitness journey for days, weeks, or even longer. Rest will give you a physical and mental reset to help ensure that you reach your fitness goals.
Should I Exercise Every Day?
Whether you exercise every day depends on you, but the bottom line is: probably not! We’ve already covered the importance of the rest day.
If you regularly perform moderate or intense physical activities, you should not train every day! A rest day will help you avoid overtraining and keep you moving steadily along your fitness program. Even if you’re just trying to shake up your sedentary lifestyle with light physical activity such as walks, stretching, or leisurely hikes, we still recommend at least one rest day.
What Are the Benefits of an Exercise Schedule?
Consistent training will help you achieve several mental and physical benefits:
- Control your weight.
- Prevent health issues.
- Improve your mood and boost your energy!
- Sleep better at night.
- Have fun!
Creating the perfect workout schedule starts with asking yourself, “What works for me?” Create a plan and adjust it based on your needs and goals. Your enjoyment is the key to a perfect workout plan. Plan, achieve, rest, and repeat!
Before you incorporate any new activity into your workout routine, remember to consult with your physician.