Figuring out your weekly workout schedule can be tricky! It’s tough to find the right balance between doing cardio, resistance training, HIIT, and all the other types of exercise you want to fit in. If you only have a limited amount of time to spend at the gym or working out, you’ll need to prioritize your workouts based on what’s most important. If you’re wondering how much exercise is good for your health, here’s what you need to know about the various types of exercise:
For the average person, three to five hours of resistance training per week is enough. That will give you enough time to fit in a workout that hits every one of your muscles, including the larger muscle groups (like your chest, back, and legs), the important smaller muscles (including biceps, triceps, calves, and shoulders), and your core (lower back, abs, and obliques). Three hours a week is on the low end, but you definitely won’t need more than five hours to help you stay in shape and improve your muscular strength.
With walking, there’s really no such thing as too much! You can literally walk for 20+ hours a week if you want, and your body will definitely be better for it. Walking is a low-impact, low-exertion exercise, one you can do anytime and anywhere. However, you’ll find that it’s surprisingly good at burning calories, especially if you do it over the course of a couple of hours. Even if you’re not walking as your main source of exercise, it’s a good idea to walk more throughout the day. It will always improve your health and fitness overall!
Running and jogging are both excellent sources of low-intensity, steady-state exercise that will burn more fat. However, it’s important to note that ONLY running (without doing regular resistance training) will actually become less effective over time. You’re better off fitting a 15-30 minute run into the end of your resistance training sessions as a means of activating body fat after you’ve burned through your stores of blood sugar. For the average person, running for 1-2 hours per week is more than enough to help them improve their endurance and get fit, especially when it’s paired with a resistance training regimen.
Swimming is, hands down, the best full-body form of cardio on the planet. It engages every muscle in your body, and it not only builds strength, but also helps to improve endurance. You’ll find that swimming is incredibly tiring, and most people can only do a 20 to 40-minute swimming workout. If you have the time, try to fit in 2 to 4 sessions per week. You’ll find that it’s an amazing way to get fitter and healthier!
High intensity interval training (HIIT) is an amazing way to fit a long workout into just a few minutes. You’ll find that a proper HIIT session will be done in 15 to 25 minutes, and you’ll hit both your muscular and cardiovascular endurance very effectively. Do a HIIT workout 2 to 5 times a week, and you’ll definitely get in better shape!
Cycling is another workout that, like walking, can be done for hours on end without being too exhausting. It’s easier on your joints and muscles than high-impact exercise, and you’ll find that it works wonders for both your lower body strength and muscular endurance. If you can fit in 2 to 10 hours of cycling a week, you’ll find that your fitness level increases drastically. As a bonus, you’ll get to see many places in your town or city you’ve never seen before!