How often should I exercise?

Now the answer to this is dependable on a few different things?

Are you a beginner? What’s your exercise history? What are you training for? Are you injury prone?

Australia’s Department of health offers the following guidelines for 18-64 year olds.

Physical Activity Guidelines

  • Doing any physical activity is better than doing none. If you currently do no physical activity, start by doing some, and gradually build up to the recommended amount.
  • Be active on most, preferably all, days every week.
  • Accumulate 150 to 300 minutes (2 ½ to 5 hours) of moderate intensity physical activity or 75 to 150 minutes (1 ¼ to 2 ½ hours) of vigorous intensity physical activity, or an equivalent combination of both moderate and vigorous activities, each week.
  • Do muscle strengthening activities on at least 2 days each week.

The best thing I think you can do is listen to your body. I’m a big believer in that you know best what your body likes and dislikes.

I know for my own personal exercise that I need to do a combination of resistance and HIIT sessions to maximise my results. I also love my boxing sessions. What can I say, I love to hit things. I also know I need to stretch and roll out on the foam roller 2-3 times per week. If I don’t do this I get stiff and sore and riddled with soft tissue injuries. Best time to roll out is when I’m watching TV at the end of the night.

Now all this adds to to quite a few sessions per week. For this reason I mix up my training as I feel. I don’t necessarily expect to fit in that many sessions per week. You don’t have to do it all. Just do it reasonably and consistent. Some weeks I like to hit shit, other weeks I need a quiet, relaxing foam rolling session and maybe even get a massage. Always some form of resistance and cardio I’ll always get done.

You’ve also got your fun, incidental weekly activities like walking the dog, shooting some hoops or going kayaking in the better weather which is what I enjoy doing. i don’t schedule these things, they’re just bonus extras.

If you’re just starting to get into exercise don’t make the mistake of going to hard too soon. Most newbies who join a fitness program aim to go everyday. This is doable the first week but I guarantee you lose interest very quickly and go to no training within a month. Read more about this in our earlier blog. Find a happy medium. If you struggle then the first two weeks only train twice per week. You can build that to three, even four as the weeks go on.

Now my advanced people. As you probably already tend to train a bit more I’m sure you know what your body can handle. You may train anywhere from 3-6 sessions per week. You still need rest days so you can recover to hit it hard again next week.

I’ve actually had clients who were training too much. One particular bootcamper comes to mind. I won’t name her because she and her training buddies will probably be reading this (Sometimes 10+ sessions per week, she’s knows I don’t like her doing this). As soon as we knocked back her sessions she started getting some awesome fitness and body results. Finally she understands what her body reacts positively too.

Another question to ask yourself is do you have an event or a time frame you want to obtain results? This could seriously change the way you do training. If you want to fit into a certain dress for your friends engagement party which is only in three weeks, well this certainly would see you upping your work load.

If you have a goal to run a half marathon then I would hope you’ up your running sessions but maintain your resistance training in addition. You would need to sit down and work out your training diary.

As I said there is no one answer to this question. Use common sense and just make sure your doing enough of the right workouts to get the results you want.