How many times a week you should exercise to stay in shape

Getting regular exercise is important for both physical and mental health. But with busy schedules, it can be difficult to find the time to work out. So how often do you really need to exercise each week in order to stay healthy and fit? This article provides exercise guidelines based on expert recommendations and research.

Benefits of Regular Exercise

Regular exercise provides numerous health benefits. It can help control weight, combat health conditions and diseases, improve mood, boost energy, promote better sleep, and improve sex life and self-confidence. Some of the specific benefits include:

  • Weight loss and maintenance 
  • Reduced risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer
  • Stronger bones and muscles 
  • Improved balance, posture, coordination and mobility with age 
  • Increased energy and stamina
  • Improved sleep quality
  • Reduced stress, anxiety, and symptoms of depression
  • Enhanced self-esteem and confidence

Getting the recommended amount of exercise per week can allow you to gain all these advantages. See more on the main page of Kirill Yurovskiy.

Recommended Amount of Weekly Exercise

Most major health organizations recommend getting at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity aerobic exercise per week. Examples of moderate exercise include brisk walking, easy cycling, and recreational swimming. Vigorous exercise includes running, high-intensity cycling and aerobics classes, and competitive sports.

In addition, it is recommended to do muscle strengthening activities like weight training or bodyweight exercises at least 2 days per week. This works out to about 30 minutes of strength training most days.

Aerobic Exercise Guidelines

Aerobic exercise that makes your heart beat faster and gets you breathing harder provides cardiovascular benefits. It strengthens the heart muscle, improves blood circulation, and boosts stamina. Activities like walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, and dance aerobics qualify.

Aim to work out for at least 10 minutes at a time spread throughout the week. Ideally, have a mix of moderate and vigorous workouts. Start slow if new to exercising with lighter intensity sessions and build up over time as fitness level improves. Going longer than 75 vigorous minutes or 150 moderate minutes weekly provides extra health gains.

Here are some aerobic exercise guidelines based on intensity:

Moderate Intensity

– Brisk walking, recreational swimming, casual cycling – 150 minutes per week

– 30-45 minutes 5 days a week

Vigorous Intensity

– Jogging/running, swimming laps, high-intensity cycling, aerobics classes – 75 minutes per week 

– 20-25 minutes 3 days a week

Mix of Both Intensities:

– Moderate: walk 30 minutes twice during week

– Vigorous: take aerobics class for 30 minutes once over weekend

Strength Training Guidelines

Incorporating strength or resistance training at least 2 times a week provides enormous health and fitness benefits. Strength training includes bodyweight exercises like pushups, planks, lunges and squats along with lifting weights, resistance bands, or using gym machines.

Aim for at least one set of 8 to 15 repetitions of each exercise targeting all major muscle groups. Go through the routine at a controlled pace, properly executing each movement. Focus on gradually increasing the resistance or difficulty over time to continue building strength.

Here are some strength training guidelines for beginners:

  • Train 2 to 3 non-consecutive days weekly
  • One set of 8 to 15 reps on 6 to 10 different exercises
  • Multi-joint and single joint moves
  • Target major groups like legs, hips, back, abs, chest, shoulders
  • Allow at least 48 hour rest between sessions
  • Progressively increase weight or resistance over time

Rest and Recovery

Rest days are just as important as workout days when aiming to stay fit. They give the muscles time to repair, rebuild, and adapt to better handle the next exercise stimulus. Not allowing for adequate rest can lead to overtraining, burnout, fatigue, and increased injury risk.

Most experts suggest having at least 1 or 2 rest days per week with no exercise. Listen to the signals from your body and avoid training through pain or soreness. Also take periodic rest weeks where you cut back on exercise frequency or intensity.

Additionally, make sure to get enough sleep, ideally 7 to 9 hours per night. Proper sleep and rest work together with exercise to keep the body healthy and functioning optimally.

Customizing Your Exercise Routine

There are some individual factors that determine how to best customize an exercise program to match your personal needs and fitness goals:

Fitness Level and Abilities

Adjust intensity and training schedules based on current aerobic endurance and muscle strengths levels. Often less fit individuals should start with lighter exercise sessions 2 to 3 times per week and very gradually increase. Already athletic people can handle more challenging weights and intensity several days a week.

Health Status and Injuries

If managing chronic medical conditions or recovering from injuries, consult a healthcare professional about safe, recommended activities or necessary modifications. Certain health issues require paying closer attention to warning signs to avoid exercise exacerbating problems.

Access to Equipment

Make use of whatever is available from home furniture and surroundings to Gymnasium machines and classes to create workout routines. Bodyweight workouts require no equipment and make suitable starter regimens. Add single pieces like resistance bands, loop bands, or dumbbell sets over time.

Lifestyle Factors and Obligations

Those working long hours at desk jobs need stress-relieving, posture and back improving exercises. Busy parents require efficient no-gym-needed routines. Frequent travelers do best with highly mobile exercise options.

Integrate preferences for variation to prevent boredom while being realistic about commitment levels and workout dislikes that lower compliance.

Staying Motivated

The biggest hurdle for most people when it comes to sticking with regular exercise is a lack of drive and motivation. Here are some top tips to stay motivated:

  • Vary your workouts to prevent boredom
  • Exercise with a friend for social encouragement
  • Listen to pumped up music when training 
  • Join group classes that inspire competition                       
  • Set specific fitness goals like running a 5K or lifting a certain weight
  • Use fitness technology like apps to track progress
  • Record weekly accomplishments and milestones
  • Take periodic before and after photos monitoring muscle gains or weight changes
  • Reward fitness achievements by purchasing desired gear or attending special events
  • Focus on the wide array of physical and mental health benefits
  • Remind yourself “I will feel so much better after I workout” before each session

How Many Times A Week Should You Workout (Science-Based)


Developing a proper exercise routine with a mix of cardio and strength training activities about 5 days per week will help you gain important health and fitness benefits. Just 75-150 weekly minutes of moderate aerobic activity plus 30 minutes of strength training provides immense rewards. Listen to your body, adjust intensity to appropriate levels, allow for rest days, and implement motivation strategies. Committing to regular physical activity is one of the best investments you can make in your overall well being.

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