How often is enough?

You know you should be keeping active. You’ve read about the seemingly endless benefits of exercise. But just how often do you really need to exercise?

Perhaps you’ve given yourself weight loss goals, or you want to bulk up. Or maybe you simply want to maintain your health and fitness for a good life.

Unfortunately, there is no simple answer. Everyone is different. But science can give us some general guidelines for physical activity:

A weekend warrior isn’t fit enough!

Training once or twice a week is better than nothing, but to reach or maintain the health benefits of exercise, 3 times a week is the minimum. 

If you are a busy career climber, try to supplement your weekend workouts with at least one more session during the week. The benefits escalate quickly when you do so.

Don’t weaken weekly schedules

If you’re a weekly trainer, make sure you stick to a regular habit of at least 3 days per week. The key is to keep it regular. 

If you skip one of those days in any week, you may think it doesn’t matter because you’ve already been to the gym at least once or twice. But your health benefits do notice.

Even beginners need the minimum

If you’re new to exercise, you may think staring slowly means once or twice a week. That really isn’t enough to kickstart your health. 

You can start with spending less time in each session and then building up gradually from there, but you will still need at least 3 days per week.

Building ideal fitness 

Of course, 4 or 5 days a week is even better than 3, especially if you’re already quite fit or if you have specific goals. 

Even so, remember to include a rest day between sessions if possible. Or switch between different types of exercises.

Planet Fitness has clubs across South Africa. Use the Club Locator to find your nearest, or click here to experience a week free trial if you’re not a member.

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