How Many Times a Week Should I Work Out?
When it comes to achieving your health and fitness goals, consistency matters. It helps you develop routine and build momentum. This is when habits are formed, and they become second nature. Like brushing your teeth, you will feel if something is missing if you did not exercise. When you begin to create discipline in your workouts, you gain achievements slowly over time. So, in other words, do not give up. Keep going!
If you aim for four to five days a week of exercise, you will start to make progress over time. The key is to build slowly and keep at it. Rest days are just as important as your exercise days, however. Make sure you listen to your body. If it is tired, achy or your resting heart rate is elevated, take a day off. Also, make sure you are getting adequate sleep. Remember to hydrate regularly; half of your body weight in ounces is the standard rule of thumb. Of course, you can still be active, walk and do household chores. Keep moving. Stretching is also important; consider foam rolling to roll out your aches and stiffness.
If you want to achieve a certain goal, we need to create a plan. First, decide what your goal is. Then, identify the big “why” behind your desired goal. For example, you want to be able to complete a 10K race and place in your age group. Next, set a goal that will gradually get you to your desired outcome. For example, I would like to be able to do a 5K race and see how fast I can run comfortably. Lastly, develop a plan to accomplish these goals (for example, a 2-3 mile run four days a week).
As a personal trainer and athlete for several decades, I know that consistency is the most important aspect of training. Being consistent is hard because we tend to focus on the outcome more than the process. We are often more drawn to the feeling of the outcome rather than the struggle of the journey. Many of us quit before we can experience the rewards. Too many of us expect quick results with weight loss and strength gains, but it takes time and focus to get those results you so much crave. Keep your eye on the prize, and you will get closer and closer to it over time and distance. In runner’s parlance: “It’s a marathon, not a sprint!”
Need more professional fitness advice? Look no further than Ochsner Fitness Center