Taking care of your body is hard work, and depending on your goals, it may include working out at a facility on a regular basis. This might have you wondering just how often should you go to the gym? Whether you are new to this or a fitness pro, the answer to that question will vary. It depends on a few things that you need to consider to develop the right workout schedule for you. ZOZOFIT breaks it all down for you here.
Determining How Often You Should Go to the Gym
Before you create a gym schedule, you should first decide if you need to go at all. There may be other ways for you to exercise and get moving each week. According to the Physical Activity Guidelines by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, at a minimum, adults should get 150 minutes of moderate activity along with two days of strength training each week. Examples of this type of activity include fast walking, water aerobics or pushing a lawn mower.
However, while this type of movement is good for your heart, brain and overall health, it may not be enough. The biggest factor that will determine if you need to go to the gym is your individual fitness goal.
What Are Your Fitness Goals?
How often should you go to the gym if you just want to add more physical activity to your life? For that, you don't really have to go at all; there are several ways to increase your physical activity without going to a dedicated facility. However, for more challenging goals that require weights and intense workouts, a gym is better.
Sometimes referred to as resistance training, strength training is a type of exercise that uses external resistance to build up your strength and endurance in a particular muscle or muscle group. You can do this with equipment such as dumbbells, bands and barbells, or with squats, pushups and other exercises that require you to use your own body weight. If your goal is to get stronger, strength training may be for you.
Similar to strength training, weight training also uses weights, but the focus is on building muscle rather than endurance. If this is your goal, then weight training exercises will help you build a more muscular physique. In addition to handheld weights, most gyms have weightlifting machines that you can use as well.
How often should you go to the gym if your goal is to lose weight? This depends on how much you want to lose and how fast you want to do it. While aerobic exercises burn calories, strength training and weight training can help you burn more and keep it off. This is because the muscles you build with these types of training continue to burn calories long after your workout ends.
If your goal is to enter competitions to show off your body, then bodybuilding training is what you need. While this type of training includes weights, the exercises you will do focus more on the shape of your body than your strength. During training, you will also learn posing techniques to use when you begin to compete.
What Is Your Fitness Level?
The amount of time you should spend in a gym is also determined by your fitness level. Which of the following levels best describes you?
You may have little to no workout or fitness experience. How often should you go to the gym if you're a beginner? A good start is to go two to three times a week. This allows you to ease into regular workouts as you begin to learn about basic techniques and safety.
You may be on an intermediate level if you are already working out on a regular basis. If you're still unsure how often you should schedule a gym visit, though, three to four times a week is a good target for you.
If you're more advanced in your workout routine, you can go to the gym four to five times a week. Resist going more than this; keep in mind that you still need recovery time in between workouts for your muscles to heal.
How Much Free Time Do You Have To Work Out?
Before deciding how often you want to go to the gym, take a look at your personal schedule to figure out how much time you have available. As you consider the other commitments in your life, figure out how you can fit in your gym time without sacrificing other priorities.
How often should you go to the gym if you have a family? Between cooking, cleaning and getting your kids off to school, you may not have enough time left to fit in a workout outside of the home. Even if you don't have children, it's important to calculate the amount of free time you have available.
Don't forget about the amount of time you spend with friends and any social commitments you may have. You want to strike a good balance between working out and maintaining a healthy social life.
Does your job require you to work late or to complete lots of overtime? Factor this into your planning so you can come up with a schedule that is consistent.
Be sure to keep time available for personal projects and self-care. If the other areas of your life are full, you may feel tempted to pull some workout time from here. Try to avoid this, as your personal time is as important as everything else.