What is the Ideal Workout Frequency: How Many Days a Week Should I Exercise?


It is crucial to understand proper exercise routines and their frequency to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Understanding the optimal workout duration and the importance of rest days is essential for individuals hoping to remain active. Loren Fishman, MD, a professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Columbia University, emphasizes that prioritizing different exercise routines, such as cardio and weightlifting, is important. Furthermore, he emphasizes that everyone has unique fitness goals.

Understanding how often one needs to work out begins by identifying the necessary minutes of physical fitness per week. According to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans (HHS), adults should engage in at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity fitness each week or 1 hour and 15 minutes of vigorous-intensity fitness each week. Additionally, adults should also engage in muscle-strengthening activities of moderate or greater intensity that involve all major muscle groups on 2 or more days a week.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides various examples of fulfilling these requirements through different activities, such as aerobic exercises or a mix of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity, coupled with muscle-strengthening exercises.

For children ages 6-17, the recommendation is to get in at least 60 minutes of “moderate to vigorous” physical activity every day. Barbara Olendzki, associate professor of population and quantitative health sciences at UMass Chan Medical School, stresses the importance of being active as many days a week as possible, even for short time periods.

Rest days are essential, especially for those engaging in intensive workouts. Resting between workouts allows the muscles to heal and is crucial for optimum muscle development. Moreover, rest days can prevent burnout, making it easier for individuals to stick to their exercise programs.

When it comes to selecting exercises, there are endless possibilities, from cardio to strength training. Mixing different types of exercise is important for physical fitness and mental well-being, as it adds variety and helps individuals find the most enjoyable routine.


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