How often should you exercise?

How often should you exercise?

Getting into any exercise routine can be a little daunting at first, and it can be helpful to have a few guiding principles; one of the key questions we’re often asked is just how often should you exercise?

At BIG Health and Fitness, we’re big believers in developing a sustainable pattern of exercise, that works with you and your existing routines. Exercise has many benefits, not in the least for weight loss, but it improves mental health, and there’s also a whole heap of social advantages to the community you can find at a gym like ours. There certainly isn’t a one size fits all answer to ‘how often should you exercise?’, but we’ve unpacked a few thoughts below to help you on your way.

Quality over quantity

With exercise, it’s worth prioritising quality over quantity. You need the right amount of exercise to ensure that you raise your heart rate to feel the health and weight benefits, but you also need to ensure that your body has time between exercising, giving your body time to build and reap the rewards of your work.

You also don’t want to run at everything so fast in the first couple of weeks, that you burn out, and then lose motivation in the long run. The excitement of getting into a new routine can make it tempting to want to run ahead, but, if you’re patient with yourself, you’re likely to see better results over time, and also a newly formed habit that’s easier to keep.

The frequency depends on the type of exercise

There is a wide range of exercise classes and approaches out there, and each can be followed at different intervals. Interestingly, it’s not just the frequency that has an impact, but also the type of exercise that you choose to do. Just how often you should exercise can depend on the activities you choose to focus on. For example, if you prefer high-intensity classes, the American College of Sports Medicine suggests that your exercise can be just 75 minutes a week. If you favour the less intense approach, then a good average to follow is to start with two to three times a week, aiming to work your way up to five.

For many people, the high-intensity workouts can be a little daunting, and we generally advocate an approach that will work with your body and your comfort levels to gradually improve your fitness and well-being.

How often should you exercise? People walking outside
Photographer: Henry Xu

Not all exercise happens in the gym

It’s worth remembering that not all exercise that you do has to happen in a gym environment. Whilst there are many advantages for finding yourself a regular exercise space where you feel comfortable and supported in your fitness journey, you don’t necessarily need to make it here 5 days a week. A brisk 30-minute walk, for example, will help maintain your fitness and compliment the hard work that you’ve done in the gym on the other days.

Find support

If you are to make your fitness a regular habit, it may be helpful to find places which can support you on your journey. You may find that registering with a personal trainer, or attending some classes, would help you on your way to a routine if you’re not sure where to start. A class also helps you to keep going and can give you the motivation to attend, with encouragement that comes from outside of your own will power.

Final thoughts – how often should you exercise?

If you’d like to get serious about your own fitness journey, and want a friendly chat to find out where to start, contact our team today. We’d love to welcome you to our facilities at the DRC, Dunstable, and show you around.

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