How Many Times a Week Should You Work Out? Questions to Ask a Personal Trainer, Part 6

February 20, 2015 7:12 pm / Posted in , ,

How many times a week should you work out? Advice ranges from the very specific “three times per week,” to a little every day. If you’re a little confused, then don’t worry – you’re in good company. This is one of my most frequently asked questions and, like most things related to health and fitness, there’s no easy answer.

Here are three guidelines.

#1 – Do Something Active Every Day

Regardless of whether you’re going to the gym or not, you should seek to do something active every day of the week. This can be anything that gets your body moving, if only a little. Do chores. Play with your kids. Take an evening walk around the block. If you prefer, take 5 minutes and do some mobility exercises when you wake up.

The important thing is to get in the habit of of moving. It may be daunting at first, as your body may not be accustomed to regular movement, but eventually you will find yourself actually craving a regular rhythm of low-level activity.

#2 – Organized Work Out, Twice Per Week

You should plan for a formal work out twice per week. It may take a couple weeks to really build the momentum on this one, but it’s important to get the workouts in.

Start with something low-impact. So, for example, if you’re going to lift weights, you could begin with five exercises and complete one set of 10 repetitions using a light weight. The exercises you perform and the amount of weight you start with will vary depending on your strength, body type, and overall fitness level. This is an area where it’s ideal to consult with a personal trainer, as it will help you avoid injury, which in turn will keep you motivated to work out.

#3 – Interval Training, Twice Per Week

Interval training is one of the best types of exercise you can perform. Alternating between low and high levels of activity, you can achieve outstanding results in very little time. A couple of 10 to 20 minute interval training sessions a week are a great way to start. It also doesn’t have to be on a treadmill!Take the stairs up to your office or your condo. Take a hike around a steep hill near your home, or in the Gatineau Park. If you already use a bicycle to get around, turn on the heat for a few minutes during your ride in order to enjoy the benefits of interval training.

Many people feel like working out will disrupt their busy lives, but you don’t have to give up much time to live a healthy life. Instead, try to integrate activity into your day-to-day routine. Do mobility exercises while watching TV, or take the stairs to get to your office every day. Small changes can lead to big results!

Read the rest of my seven part series by following the links below:

1 – Part 1: My Personal Training and Fitness Philosophy

2 – Part 2: How I Stay in Shape

3 – Part 3: My Opinion on Supplements

4 – Part 4: My Certifications

5 – Part 5: Long Vs. Short Term Fitness Programs

6 – Part 7: Why Did I Become a Personal Trainer? (coming soon)

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