Featured__ How Many Days A Week Do You Really Need To Hit The Gym?

July 23, 2015 | By

You’re lucky if you can make it to your spin class three days a week, let alone trying to work out every single day. But are you hurting yourself by not making the time to work out daily?

You’ve probably heard before that you should be exercising five days a week for at least thirty minutes, but it’s actually more complicated than that. You can actually space out your 150 minutes over three or four days instead. So, if after-work drinks are temping you, you can skip your workout and double up the next day to make up for it.

But would working out for 150 minutes in one day or 75 minutes, two days a week yield the same results? Studies say no. You should be working out a minimum of three days per week if you want to see improvements. According to the study, people who work out only two days a week probably won’t see any positive changes in their body or health.

If you just can’t find the time to work out everyday, don’t feel guilty. A study actually showed that working out just four days a week could be more beneficial than working out six days a week. Participants were split up into three groups – one group worked out twice a week, another group worked out four times a week and the last group worked out six times a week.

The group who was exercising four times a week was burning about 250 extra calories per day than what they burned from exercise. Pretty impressive. But the group who exercised six days a week were actually burning about 200 calories less per day and claimed that they felt overwhelmed by how often they had to work out. Trying to make time to exercise almost everyday drove them to make less healthy choices throughout the day, such as driving to work instead of walking. So in this case, less is more.

But what’s the ideal amount of days per week to work out? Really, it’s whatever works for you – as long as it’s at least three days. If your schedule only allows you to squeeze in a good workout three days a week, plan on working out three days a week and stick to it. It’s better to do this than to try to work out five days a week when you know you don’t have the time and end up quitting altogether.

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