We all have different motivations for working out. But usually, if you’re doing it to stay fit, you need to ask yourself one thing. How often should you work out? You need a game plan that focuses on how much of each routine you need to incorporate in a week to make good progress and challenge yourself. To answer the question, however, there is no one answer. Different people begin at different levels. A beginner who hasn’t worked out at all would find themselves challenged by two days a week of exercise but this would be child’s play and ineffective to someone who’s been at it for longer. The ideal number of days you should be looking at is 4 days or even 5, if possible. If you’re looking at improving your fitness and staying in shape, the breakdown would look like this:

Strength Training

At least 2 to 3 days need to be focused on building up muscle mass, as well as strengthening your joints and bones. This will test you because you’ll be doing a full body workout and it’ll ultimately come down to your motivation to getting fit- how badly do you want this? Whether at a home gym or heading out, don’t forget to dress appropriately. There is a range of mens compression singlets that will help prevent any injuries when you’re looking at more intensive workouts. Using compound exercises (like squats, lunges, bicep curls-to-overhead presses) you can work on your core while working several major muscle groups in your body. Remember that there are different moves, pushing and pulling (for example, chest press vs. a row) and you need to have different moves on each day but repeat them each week for at least 4 to 6 weeks, while increasing your weights.  Ideally, these workouts need to last between 45 to 60 minutes a day. Also, remember not to work on strength on consecutive days.

Cardio

Including cardio into your weekly workout is just as important because it works on your endurance while biologically keeps your circulatory system working at its peak. It also helps your body optimally utilize oxygen-these are all essentials to staying fit. Once again your cardio period should be for about 2 to 3 days, again for 45 to 60 minutes at most. You can decide to do anything, including jogging, using the treadmill or cycling. You can often incorporate strength training into your cardio workout as well!

Rest

Resting is equally important because you need to know when to let your body recover from all the exertion you’re putting it through. With an intensive program that includes cardio and strength training for 2 to 3 times a week, you should plan how many days of each you want but remember to schedule in at least 2 rest days in between. A rest day doesn’t mean you have to do anything, in fact it’s best if you can keep your mind alert by doing small exercises like stretching or going for a walk (nothing that involves breaking a serious sweat).

This is ideally how much you would want to work out in a week to stay fit and healthy. If you want to add more muscle, cut down on cardio- if you want to focus more on endurance, then cut a strength day instead. Likewise plan out your week with 2 adequate rest days in-between.