Do I Need to Exercise Every Day?
October 10, 2023

One of the most common questions I get asked is “How often do I need to exercise?” Today I’m giving you some direction on this.

Defining Exercise: A couple things to keep in mind:

Exercise vs Active: There’s a difference between exercise and being active in the context that I’ll be discussing. Exercise means structured workouts, both cardio and resistance training. Active refers to your daily activities, steps and walks.

Consistency: And mostly importantly, the key to success is consistency. So it’s crucial to find exercise that works best for you. It doesn’t matter what exercises you do, how many times a week you do your workouts or how challenging it is, if you’re not consistent, your progress will be affected.

That’s why if you’re just starting out, it’s important to start off slowly, make it a habit and increase from there.

Let’s talk resistance training 💪

For bone and muscle health and strength, 2-3 times a week is recommended. Moving weights or using resistance bands will help you see more defined muscles and will change the way your body looks. Some people refer to this as a “toned” look.

Focus on quality over quantity. You don’t need to spend an hour doing a workout. A well developed strength training program can be done in about 30 mins. Add some warm up exercises and cool down stretches and you’ve done great things for your body.

Now about that cardio 💃 🚴🏼‍♀️

Pick cardio you enjoy. You don’t have to spend endless hours on a treadmill or doing something you dislike. I’m not a fan of running, so I don’t run (unless something’s chasing me! 👀). Try exploring some new activities. It gives you the opportunity to challenge your brain, body and even meet new people. As far as the time commitment, start with a couple days a week for 30 minutes. Remember that above all, it’s the consistency that will get you the results you’re looking for.

Recover + Repair 💤🧘🏼‍♀️

Your body needs time to recover and repair. This is where the magic happens. Rest days are just as essential as workout days. They prevent burnout for both your body and mind, reduce the risk of injury, and allow your muscles to grow stronger. Now rest doesn’t mean to lounge on the couch all day. It’s perfectly fine to take walks, do yoga or some stretching. Doing these things will help with your muscle recovery.

Fuel Your Body 🥦 🍓🥕

Your nutrition matters. Exercising alone isn’t a magic solution. You need to provide your body with the fuel it needs to help in the recovery process and support your health and fitness goals.

As you start an exercise program, it’s important to listen to your body. Everyone is different, and what works for one person may not work for you. Pay attention to your body’s signals, and if you need extra rest or recovery, don’t hesitate to take it. Also, if you have some medical concerns, I recommend you speak with your doctor first.

Over weeks and months, you can gradually increase the frequency and intensity of your workouts as your fitness level improves.

And one last thing, it’s important to be moving often throughout your day and start working toward a goal of 8,000-10,000 steps a day. Your body wants and needs to move. Take walks in nature whenever you can for some stress relief and to bring a bit of peace and sanity to your life.

So, no you don’t need to exercise every day. What’s most important is creating a sustainable routine that aligns with your goals and lifestyle. A balanced combination of cardio and resistance training, along with proper rest and nutrition, will set you on the path to a healthier you! And don’t forget to move more!

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