How Often Should I Be Working Out?

Posted on February 4, 2014 at 12:35 am by

Happy Talk It Out Tuesday, babes (: I’ve had a lot of you ask me this question:

How often should I be working out?

And that is a fabulous question that I really think needs to be addressed! Before you read this post, though, I want you to go read yesterday’s post. If you’re short on time, allow me to give you the cliff notes version:

  • Your health & fitness goals are a journey not a destination.
  • There is no “one size fits all” method. You have to figure out what works best for you and reaching your goals.
  • I can assure that SOMETHING will work for you. It might take a lot of trial & error, but it’s out there and it’s your job to find it. As long as you’re dedicated and trying your best, the results will come.
  • We all have different goals, so don’t base your journey on someone else’s goals.
  • One thing I want to make VERY clear: you should be working out and making healthy choices because you LOVE yourself, not because you hate yourself.
  • Where you’re at is going to bring you where you want to be. 

Got it? Good (: That means I can move on to today’s post:

how often to workout
Obviously this answer is going to vary depending on your fitness goals and your health conditions. Use this as a guideline and tweak it and find what works best for you. First I’ll tell you what my workout schedule looks like from week to week.

  • High Intensity Interval Training (usually about 30 minutes) —–> 5 days per week
  • Moderate intensity cardio (I usually go on a 3 mile jog or 5-10 mile bike ride) —–> 1 day per week
  • Leg/booty circuit (usually about 20-25 minutes) —–> 2 days per week
  • Ab circuit (usually about 20-25 minutes) —–> 2 days per week
  • Arm circuit (usually about 15 minutes) —–> 1 day per week
  • One rest day…which I still try to do something active, like go on a walk with my dog or kayak

*Side note: I change up my routines EVERY week. I get bored doing the same exercise combinations over & over plus I like to keep my body guessing. Better results that way, in my opinion!

According to The Department of Health and Human Services for healthy adults:

  • Strive for 150 minutes per week of moderate intensity aerobic (cardio) exercise OR 75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity (HIIT counts as vigorous).
  • Include at least 2 days per week of strength training. No specific amount of time is given.

Here’s what I have to say about that:

  • I think it’s important to keep in mind that short, intense workouts (like HIIT…my fave) burn more calories & fat in the long run than spending hours on a treadmill or elliptical will. JUST SAYIN.
  • And I don’t think that 2 days of strength training per week is enough. I would say to at least strive for 3-4 days. That’s just how I’ve seen people get the best results. If you’re a beginner, though, start with 2 days and see how you feel.

*Side note: make sure you give your muscles time to recover…too much weight training isn’t a good thing.

If your goal is weight loss, you might want to increase your workout time. Remember, the only way you’re going to lose weight (the healthy way) is to have a calorie deficit…aka you’re burning more calories than you are taking in. Crazy concept, huh? (;

Like I said, this information varies from person to person. You have to do some trial & error to find out what works best for your body and your goals. Remember to listen to your body. If you’re just beginning a fitness routine (which you should always consult a doctor before beginning a new fitness regime) you might only want to work out heavily 3-4 days per week. You might feel more comfortable doing cardio one day and resistance training the next. If you need a rest day, take one! Your body knows what it needs and it will tell you…you just have to listen! 

I hope this helps (: Keep sending me your health & fitness questions…I love helping guide you guys in the right direction!

xo, Jessica

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  • Anna says:

    I typically exercise during my lunch break at work. I’ve noticed ahead on the February calendar one day to wake up 30 minutes early and have a cardio session. Is it okay to work out more than once a day if the body continues to get the rest and fuel it needs?

  • Amanda says:

    Great information! It’s so easy to lag behind on muscle/toning work — good reminder for me to make sure I get it in 🙂

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