This is a very tough question to answer because individuals vary. There are several factors that one needs to look at before deciding how often they should exercise. In this article, we’ll look at the different factors to take note of and you’ll be able to decide what is right for you.
Before proceeding, it’s important to know that when you’re trying to lose weight, your diet is infinitely more important than your training. If you were at a caloric deficit and ate clean and all you did was go walking three times a week, you’d still lose weight.
Many people have done it and have been successful in their weight loss journey. Your weight is directly linked to your diet. Exercise is indirectly linked. Understanding this is of paramount importance.
- How Overweight Are You?
If you’re about 10 to 20 pounds overweight, exercising 5 to 6 times a week will not be a problem, because your body can handle it. You’ll see relatively fast progress fitness-wise and your weight will drop if you’re eating right.
However, if you’re morbidly obese, every exercise session will seem arduous. Your joints will hurt. You’ll need to exert more, and every workout will seem torturous.
For people in the second group, exercising three to four times a week will suffice. Even if all you do is a 20 to 30-minute walk, that will be enough.
Since you’ll be at a caloric deficit, the exercise will boost your metabolism a little and help to burn more calories. Over time, as you lose more weight, you’ll find that the workouts get easier.
You can move better and for longer without getting as tired. You’ll be able to exercise more often without struggling.
- Are You at a Plateau?
It’s very common to lose weight for a while and suddenly notice that no matter what you do, your weight is not coming down. Your diet is on point and you’re training hard, but the pounds are just not melting away.
This is known as a plateau – and it’s perfectly normal. Your body is adjusting to the new weight and doing what it needs to do. Once it has adapted, the weight will start dropping again.
The key points to note here is that you should NEVER cut your calories too drastically. Aiming for a 500 to 600 calorie deficit is more than sufficient. If you cut your calories by too much, you’ll hit a weight loss plateau.
The same applies to your training too. Sometimes, your training regimen may be too harsh. Your body is sore and exhausted. It needs rest. Taking a 3 to 4-day break will allow your body to recover and you may notice that your weight starts dropping again.
There’s no need to worry about gaining weight during the break because you’ll be at a caloric deficit. So, you’ll not be adding on any additional pounds.
- The Time You Have
Last but not least, time is always a factor. The excuse that you don’t have time to exercise could very well be true if you’re a busy mom or you’re working two jobs, etc. Time constraints are a problem that you’ll need to work around.
If all you have is 15 minutes a day, a quick high intensity session will help you. 2 or 3 times a week will be enough to get your body in calorie burning mode. As long as your diet is on point, your weight will come off.
To conclude, if you train to the best of your ability and watch your diet and caloric intake, you will lose weight. Do not compare yourself to others. Your only competition is the person you see in the mirror.
If you stay the course, what seems impossible today will be your warm up one day in future. Stay committed. Stay strong