If you have a question of how often to work out as a beginner, you first have to identify exactly what you count as a workout. Clients at Revolution Training in Stamford, CT understand exactly what that means. If you’re coming to the gym pressing weights, boxing at peak intensity and pushing yourself to the limit the answer is one thing. If you’re taking the pace easier, it’s quite another. The type of exercise you’re doing, strength-training, aerobic, flexibility or balance, make a difference, too.
Let’s look at intensity.
The Department of Health and Human Services—HHS—suggests that 75 to 150 minutes of intense exercising or 150 minutes to 300 minutes of moderate aerobic activity is necessary. That means you have to consider the level of intensity, among other factors. If you’re pushing yourself hard, working out for a half hour three days a week can be enough. Moderate intensity, including walking fast or jogging should be done twice as often.
What type of training are you doing?
While some workouts involve all types of training, others focus strictly on one type, like strength training or cardio. If you’re doing strength training, you definitely need to give your muscles at least 48 hours to recover and repair. Not giving them a rest between sessions actually causes the muscles to break down, rather than build, since it continues to cause microtears without any healing. You need to ensure you have a good balance of all types of workouts or face potential injury.
Since your fitness level plays a role, beginners should start slowly and build.
Start by working out 2-3 days a week for approximately 30 minutes a day. Take it easier at first and work toward more intensity. On your days away from the gym, it doesn’t mean you should avoid any forms of exercise, just make it more leisurely. Take opportunities to increase your activity, no matter how small. Take a walk at lunch or take the stairs not the elevator. Enjoy yourself and go dancing or for a short hike. Make it leisurely but keep active. It’s called passive recovery and can help you achieve fitness faster without causing injury.
- For the first week or so, start slow. Gradually build up your workout. Make sure you include time to warm up or cool down. Listen to your body and be flexible the first week or so.
- You need to do cardio at least three days a week, but limit strength training to two to give that 48 hour muscle rest. Studies show that doing flexibility training 4 to 7 times a week, brings best results.
- The longer you stick with your workout program, the more time you can add to your workout regimen. You can even workout every day, especially if you break up your workout, such as upper body training one day and lower body training the next.
- Listen to your body, especially when you first begin a program of exercise. It’s easy to push yourself too hard initially and then be sidelined for weeks. A personal trainer can help you safely get back into shape.
For more information, contact us today at Revolution Training