One of the most common questions we get from our newer members is how many days a week should I exercise? The answer is not straight-forward, as it can vary for each individual based on: the type/intensity of exercise, their current fitness level, nutritional regimen, and ability to rest and recover from performed exercise. Also, each individual’s goals for exercise can vary, and therefore their frequency should also vary.
First off, for someone who may be a beginner to exercise, and may be overweight or deconditioned, and their goal is to lose weight, they may begin with lower intensity levels of exercise and for only 3 times in one week, with a 1-on/1-off pattern with exercise. On the other hand, someone who is training to compete at a high level in an event or sport, will have to incorporate more frequency of training, assuming that they are already conditioned. Some of these people may also incorporate a couple exercises per day, such as metabolic conditioning in the mornings, go about their day (school, work, etc.) and take on weight training in the evening.
As for intensity levels, assuming that your primary exercise routine incorporates high intensity such as CrossFit, this may also vary the amount of days an individual is able to exercise in a week, without over-training or developing overuse injuries. CrossFit training encourages exercise between 4-5 times per week, with varying “patterns” for doing so. As fitness levels increase, CrossFit athletes/members can follow something like 3-on/1-off, 2-on/1-off to achieve a greater level of fitness quickly, assuming that they are also practicing proper rest, nutrition and following a wise program.
Rest can be defined as days “off” from exercise as well as quantity and quality of sleep. For someone who is partaking in 4-5 days of exercise but also has a very active job such as laying down hardwood all day, their bodies may not be adequately resting, even when they are not in the gym. Likewise, someone who takes adequate days “off” but only sleeps 5-6 hours per night are also putting themselves at risk for inadequate recovery for intense exercise the next day or throughout the week. Assuring proper rest allows for increased recovery and the ability to approach workouts with more intensity more frequently, thus advancing fitness.
Lastly, nutrition is pretty straight forward. Someone who is fueling their body with adequate, quality nutrients, then their bodies will be more likely to a) exercise with high intensity and energy and b) refuel, repair muscle tissue and recover for future exercise sessions. Not only does fueling with quality whole foods allow the body and mind to feel energized throughout the day, but can also help fight off obesity with a diet rich in lean protein, veggies, nuts, seeds, and few sugars and processed foods. Isn’t that the life we all want to live? Fit & feeling good?
If you’re ready to discuss your Get Fit Start with one of our coaches, fill out this form and let’s chat! Whether you’re brand new, or a fire-breathing athlete, we would be glad to learn more about you and your fitness goals.