By Zach Columbia B.S. NASM FPT
How often should you workout? There have been hundreds of studies on exercise frequency and length. While the type of exercise performed is a key factor, the results show anywhere from ten to ninety minutes in length and two to six days a week. In other words, there’s not definitive scientific answer you can easily apply. My thought is this; if you consider the fact that there are 168 hours in a week and you workout every single day for an hour, that’s still only 4% of your week. Now think about your goals. Do you realistically think that even at maximum effort, 4% is going to be a significant enough for you to achieve your goals? The reality is probably not. So if you’re thinking, “Zach, I can hardly find time to workout three times a week! How am I ever going to accomplish my goals?” Well, here’s how…
An hour in the gym is obviously not enough.
Of course, you should do it! Of course, it’s still important! However, getting fit and being healthy goes way beyond just working out a few times a week. If you really want to accomplish your health and fitness goals, then you have to look at the big picture. Your lifestyle is the determining factor in whether or not your time and effort in the gym is going to be effective. What do I mean by lifestyle?
Everyone know diet is important, but what about other factors, like: work-life balance, stress management, environmental toxin exposure, and sleep? Leading a healthy lifestyle requires looking at how the other 96-98% of your week helps or hurts your goals. Focusing on exercise is the most common place to start (and it’s a great place to start), but if you want to get fitter and healthier, recognize that exercise is just one small part of leading a healthy lifestyle.
In my experience, the most successful clients that get the best results and are able to stick with their program the longest without falling off are the ones that have made fitness a part of their lifestyle.
They’re not insanely strict about their workout regimen, nor do they obsess over their diet. They don’t get discouraged if they don’t see amazing results, nor do they approach their goals in an all or nothing mindset. Rather, the most successful clients workout a several times a week, make healthy dietary choices, get 7-8 hours of sleep at night, and try to fill their homes with non-toxic products.
When leading a healthy lifestyle is the overall goal, there is no finish line.
More importantly, there is no deadline. It’s just a journey that you’re on. For this reason, you’re much more likely to not only do the things it takes to be healthy and fit, but you’re also more likely to continue on the path. So, how often should you workout? The question is irrelevant… One hour in the gym several times a week is not going to be the saving grace of an unhealthy lifestyle. Instead of looking at it like punching a clock in and out at the gym, focus on your lifestyle as a whole. Find areas where you can make positive changes that move you in the right direction and if you need help, you can rely on our coaching team to put you a program that focuses on making healthy lifestyle changes that include working out.
P.S. Working out three times a week for the rest of your life is a pretty good lifestyle goal.