When you are new to the fitness journey the most common questions you ask yourself are: ‘How often should I workout?’, ‘When am I going to start seeing results?” etc. Even though these are the most common questions, there is no right or definite answer to this question. It comes down to your body, what you eat, your genetics, your lifestyle, and your personal goals. Everything ranging from the workout routine to the number of days they workout looks different from person to person. There are often three categories that break down your fitness goal: General Health, Weight Loss, and Muscle Building.
- General Health
Everybody knows that exercising makes you healthy, but if you’re just trying to maintain or improve your health the Department of Health and Human Services recommends to get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity every week. This can be split up however you like, even walking 5 days a week with enough to break a sweat will do the job.
Moderate aerobic activity refers to when you’re moving fast enough to break out a sweat and raise your heart rate, however you are still able to talk but not scream to the songs playing in the background. Vigorous aerobic activity refers to when your heart rate is high and you are breathing hard, it’s so fast that you will struggle to talk. Best way to figure out the intensity of your exercise can be determined by how much you are able to talk while exercising.
- Weight Loss
Your obvious goal is to lose weight therefore the type of workout will be determined by how fast you want to lose this weight. It is very important to note that losing too much weight too fast is extremely unhealthy for you. Excessive weight loss in a small period of time can often set your body up for fatigue, complications and deficiencies. Keeping that in mind, healthy weight loss is when you lose 1 or 2 pounds per week.
The only way to lose weight is through calorie deficit, i.e, when you burn more calories than what you consume. Your diet does 80% of the work while exercising speeds up or aids the process. Therefore, exercising ⅘ times a week while in a calorie deficit will help you achieve your goals. Switching in between cardio and strength training can optimize your workout routine.
- Muscle Building
In order to build muscle, you need to strength train and consume protein religiously. Not all sessions need to be intense, maintain moderation but your training should be on the intense side almost always. You need to maximize protein synthesis, i.e. more the protein stored, the larger your muscles get. Consumption of more whole foods, complex carbs, reducing sugar intake, drinking adequate amounts of water and more fiber helps build muscles.
To conclude, you need to know what your goals are in order to align your diet and workout with it. Sometimes however we may not have super specific goals and you are looking for a little bit of everything. Doing strength training combined with HIIT and a nutrient rich diet can improve your life. There are ways to workout with nothing in relation to the way you look. Exercising has proven to boost mood, beat stress, fight illnesses and improve overall well-being of the person.