How many times a week should you exercise?

Leading an active life is not synonymous with adopting the routine of an Olympic or elite athlete. Nor is it synonymous with spending hours in the gym. Everyone can find what best suits their tastes, schedules and intentions.

If you’re not sure how long to rest between workouts, these are the recommendations of science.

How long should I exercise?

The answer to this question is not universal, as there are many factors that must be considered. Your fitness to the goals you hope to achieve with training will guide the answer. 

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Fatigue, muscle stress and adaptation are the concepts that explain how often you should do it. The important thing is consistency and giving it enough time for your body to recover. This, depending on the workout you choose, will have different durations.

In general, exercises that put more stress on the nervous system, such as high intensity and sprinting, will take longer to recover. While low intensity sessions require less rest. 

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If you include resistance training or high intensity aerobic exercise in your routine, you could include two to three sessions per week and with a minimum of 48 hours of rest between each to avoid injury. If you are doing low intensity aerobic exercises, so that your body learns to use oxygen more effectively, you can do them more often.

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If you prefer resistance training, the more sessions you do, the faster the muscle growth and increase in strength will appear. In these cases it is recommended to do two or more sessions per week, but to guarantee muscle recovery, you can focus on different muscle groups for each day. 

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Now, if you only exercise to stay active and maintain good health, it is recommended, more than doing a lot of exercise, to have quality sessions. This is why workouts like HIIT can be very beneficial. In these cases, it is recommended to vary the type of training per day and allow at least one recovery day per week.