We know the body needs rest. Squeezing in a workout every day can be incredibly stressful on your body. But what exactly is the best number? How often should you workout?
According to Shawn Arent, an exercise scientist at Rutgers University, there’s a significant difference between exercising two days per week and three. In fact, he also advocated for something daily: “Technically, you should do something every day, and by something I mean physical activity — just move. Because we're finding more and more that the act of sitting counteracts any of the activity you do,” he told Business Insider.
"So let's say you go work out for an hour a day and then you sit for the rest of the day — the health consequences are awful from the sitting standpoint. There's a recent study that just came out on that. So, you need to be active at other points in the day as well besides just the exercise,” he said.
And while most of us don’t even count or consider walking part of our physical activity routine, it does play a role in our fitness. And it’s certainly something we can (and likely) do on a daily basis. But when it comes to the break your shoes sweaty goodness,, Arent says shoot for at least three days.
"[T]here's an interesting split between exercising two days per week and three days per week, and it has to do with the frequency you stimulate the system,” he explained. “So with three days per week — you get significant gains early on, and you're going to want to progress beyond that three, ideally. Two days per week, you don't get much change — you just don't do it frequently enough to have some of the other positive health outcomes that come along with it.”
But he notes that if you really want results, you shoot for four to five days. It’s something to work towards.
"In terms of resistance training — [you should do it] two to five days per week, it depends on the level you're at, in terms of how advanced you are and how you train your body. Early on we can get pretty good gains in kids and older adults with two days per week, but we still want to progress them pretty quickly to three or four days per week.”
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