A classic age old question! So, how often should you workout, twice a week or three times a week; or perhaps every day? To answer this question accurately, there are some factors that need to be considered, such as:
o How intense is your workout?
o What are your goals?
o What type of workout are we talking here?
o In what physical condition are you currently in?
o How is your daily food intake?
Most of the people, who ask this question, have the basic aim of losing weight. They’re usually trying to lose weight through exercise but are lost before they even start. For losing weight, the very first thing you need to learn is mathematics!
Weight loss can only be kick started when Calories expended are exceeded by the Calories consume as food. So, do more and eat less; that’s the golden rule of weight loss.
Keeping this into consideration, the amount of exercise you do depends on how much you eat. If you’re having a Big Mac along with a XL smoothie as a single meal, you may have to run 10K daily to start losing weight!
Maintaining your weight
For general reference, anyone who’s eating according to his daily Caloric requirement needs 5 hours of moderate exercise to maintain his weight. Now, the good news is that these five hours can be broken down to suite your schedule. So you may want to go with 1 hour daily, 5 days a week or perhaps 10 sessions of 30 minutes spanned over the entire week. Now the word ‘moderate’ means that during your workout/exercise you can talk.
This is a rough estimate of workout intensity. For more vigorous exercises, your heart rate goes up and so does your breathing and you can’t talk during the workout making it a good test of your workout intensity.
Exercising for weight loss
For losing weight, on the other hand, you may want to exceed 5 hours a week or maybe keep increase the intensity of your workout, keeping the time constant. For losing weight, you can also adjust your food intake rather than going berserk in your workouts. Ideally speaking, it should be a balance of both; food intake and exercise.
Gaining lean mass
For people going for strength training, the routine can be very different. Strength training is different from other workouts because the main aim is to gain lean body mass. For this to occur, body requires a good resting period.
So, for strength training, a good idea would be to work out each muscle group at least once a week and give it a minimum rest of 48 hours before going after it again. For example, If you’ve done Chest and Back on Monday, go for Biceps and Triceps on Tuesday, take an off day on Wednesday and if you want to hit each muscle group twice, go for Chest and Back once more on Thursday.
Importance of resting
Appropriate rest for the body is as important as the workout itself. When the body rests, the muscle tissues get repaired and the body replenishes itself. Glycogen reserves are rebuilt and the body returns to its normal state. So it is always crucial to give it rest.
It doesn’t matter if you run, do aerobics or engage in Yoga; try to do it in moderation. Watch what you eat, get a good night’s sleep and try to engage in physical activity on daily basis; and you will soon realize that you may not even need to ask the question ‘how often should I workout?’