If you had a tool that you knew would immediately make you happier, increase your health, make your lifespan longer, and improve the quality of your life, would you use it? How often would you use it? Would you use it 1, 2, 3 times a day?
If you haven’t figured it out already, there is a tool that will do exactly that, and that tool is exercise. So the real question isn’t how often you should workout, it is “Why aren’t you working out as much as possible?”
What are your fitness goals?
Do you want to burn fat, build muscle, just get healthier, or rehab an old crippling injury? Depending upon what your goals are, you will need to plan a different exercise routine. For example: if you are terribly out of shape, like you can’t even jog a mile, you might want to start out with walking a mile twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening after work. If you are crippled with pain and just want to be able to move again, maybe you should try walking a half mile in the morning and then doing yoga or stretching and flexibility routine in the afternoon. If you are in good shape and want to work up to competing in fitness events, you will probably need to spend some time doing strictly weight lifting and trying to add muscle, then closer to your competition you’ll need to increase your cardio workouts and drop your calories.
How much time can you make for exercise?
There is no excuse not to be doing at least 30 minutes of exercise 5 days per week, and that doesn’t mean that going to the gym or going for a jog are your only options. You can walk, bike, run, swim, play basketball or soccer, do yoga, lift weights, do martial arts, or pretty much anything that gets you active. It could even be playing ultimate frisbee with your kids a few days per week. The main thing here is this: people were made to be active, and by being active and maintaining your health you WILL increase your lifespan and increase the quality of your life. Even little things like walking to work in the morning instead of riding the bus, or walking up 10 flights of stair instead of taking the elevator can add up to a healthier you. So how much time can you make? 1 30 minute session, 1 1 hour session, 30 minutes in the morning and 1 hour after work?
What is the minimum?
Minimum, the BARE BONES MINIMUM you should be exercising is 30 minutes 3 days per week, but this isn’t going to build you a high level of fitness, unless you are doing highly intense lifting or cardio workouts, 30 minutes 3 days per week won’t do too much to change your body or create really noticeable results, but it will get you a little healthier. I believe people should aim to get at least 30 minutes 5 days per week of exercise. Of course, you can do much more. I usually do 1 hour of weight training 3 days per week, and either cardiovascular training or a Martial arts workout 3-5 days per week. I almost always workout at least 1 time per day 6 days a week, and when I had more time in the past I even sometimes did 3 workouts in the same day 5 days per week.
There is certainly an extreme amount of exercise where your body will begin to tear down faster than it can repair itself, but most of us will never reach this threshold. And of course, we all miss a day at the gym sometimes, but the real goal here- as with everything else in life- is consistency,we should be aiming to hit our 30 minute minimum daily exercise goal, and if we have big fitness dreams- to have a perfect body, or lose 100 lbs in 1 year- then we should strive to set even higher and more lofty fitness goals.
So the answer is up to you, its up to your goals, and it depends on how much time you have available to exercise, but the bare minimum we should ALL aim for is 30 minutes 5 days per week. Are you meeting the minimum? What excuses do you really have, what is really so important that you can’t take 1/48th of your day to invest in yourself and ensure that you live a longer and happier life? Not only will you live longer, but you’ll be happier each day and build your self esteem every time you get in a workout. So don’t put it off another day. Start today, get in your 30 minutes today!