Optimal Weekly Workout Frequency for Ultimate Fitness

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Understanding Physical Exercise and Its Importance

Physical exercise is undeniably important for our overall well-being. However, not everyone is clear on how frequently they should be working out or using their home treadmills. It’s equally crucial to recognize the value of rest days and alternating between different types of exercises like cardio, weightlifting or different muscle-targeting workouts.

Deciding the Frequency and Duration of Your Workouts

As you plan your workout schedule, it’s essential to gauge the number of minutes per week you should be devoting to physical fitness. The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) suggests that for optimal health benefits, adults should participate in 2.5 to 5 hours of moderate-intensity exercise or 1.25 to 2.5 hours of vigorous-intensity exercise each week. Additionally, strength-building activities involving all major muscle groups should be done at least two days a week.

Meeting the Recommended Exercise Guidelines

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has outlined three ways to fulfill these exercise recommendations:

  • Devote 30 minutes a day for 5 days a week to moderate aerobic activity like brisk walking and work all major muscle groups two days a week.
  • Perform vigorous aerobic activity such as jogging or running for 75 minutes over 2 days a week and train all major muscle groups twice a week.
  • Combine moderate and vigorous aerobic activity on 2 or more days a week and work on all major muscle groups twice a week.

Importance of Rest Days in Your Workout Schedule

If you’re someone who opts for a more rigorous exercise routine, say up to 5 hours a week, or spends substantial time lifting weights, remember to factor in rest days. These rest periods allow your muscles to recover and heal, which will maximize your muscle-building ability.

Alternating Between Different Types of Exercise

The HHS and CDC physical activity recommendations offer flexibility in terms of workout selection and scheduling. So, when hitting the gym, many people prefer to alternate between the muscle groups they target on different days. For instance, you might focus on upper-body muscle groups one day and lower-body groups the next. Additionally, cardio activities like walking, running, cycling, swimming, or team sports are excellent options, as are pilates, yoga, and high-intensity interval training (HIIT).


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