How Many Times A Week Should I Workout? How To Establish Your Fitness Goals

Woman doing some exercise outdoor

While many of us are asking "what happens when you don't exercise," some are getting out there and doing it. Those are the ones that will reap the benefits of exercising. So you're ready to start exercising? Great! Now you may be asking yourself, "How many times a week should I workout?"

Generally Speaking,
How Many Times A Week Should I Workout?

In general, you should work out three to five times per week to maintain fitness. If you are trying to lose weight or get into shape, you will have to exercise a little more.

If you are brand new to exercise, then the addition of any new activity is going to be good for you.

Before we get into more detail about "how many times a week should I workout," let's talk a little about the different types of exercise that you should be doing every week.

What Type Of Exercise Should I Be Doing?

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According to Harvard Medical School, there are four main types of exercise that you should be doing every week: aerobics, strength training, flexibility, and balance. I would argue that core work is the fifth type of exercise that you should also be doing.

Get your cardio on!

Stronger means better

You have to stretch

How's your balance?

Don't forget about your core!

Okay, So Then
How Many Times A Week Should I Workout?

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According to the Mayo Clinic and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, adults should do between 150 and 300 minutes per week of moderate-intensity cardio. Or you can do 75 minutes per week of vigorous-intensity aerobics.

In addition to the cardio, fitness guidelines also say that you should do strength training at least twice per week.

As we've already discussed, you also need to work on flexibility, balance, and your core every week. I know that seems like a lot of exercise every week, but if you work smart, you can combine all of it into just a few great workouts.

Your best bet is to do combination exercises that can incorporate all of the different types into one workout. HIIT workouts are a great example of that. With a HIIT workout, you get your cardio, strength training, balance, flexibility, and core work all in one quick one-hour workout.

When we're answering the question of "how many times a week should I workout?" it boils down to three to five times per week if you work smart. Each workout should be between 30 and 60 minutes in length.

Related Questions

Woman doing some exercise using rope at the gym

While we're answering the question of "how many times a week should I workout?" there are a few other questions that always come up.

What is a combination workout?

Should I do the same workout every day?

What about rest days? Are they important?

The Bottom Line

2 Women are doing some exercise together

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Whether you're a newbie taking your first steps toward fitness or you're an exercise fanatic trying to optimize your results, a well-rounded routine is essential. And that includes aerobics, strength training, balance, flexibility, and core work.

Your best bet is to find workouts that incorporate all five types of exercise into one routine. That way you get the best bang for your buck.

As a general rule, you should work out three to five times per week. You can work out more often than that, but it's essential that you take at least one day of rest every week.

Now that we've answered the question of "how many times a week should I workout?" we want to hear from you! Let us know what you think in the comments section below. And share with our readers if you have any other great tips for newbies.

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