"Is it ok if I don't work out every day?", " I feel super guilty when I skip my workout", "Am I the only one who's not doing some sports every day?"
These are the kind of questions I read often online. Ok I know I'm not a fitness coach, but I really wanted to make things properly and providing you with true and verified content. So I read lots of articles from healthline.com reviewed by Daniel Bubnis (a health coach and personal trainer), and also, especially for this article, I asked Sarah Respen who's actually a great fitness coach to answer some questions (find out more on her Insta).
So as a matter of fact, we all know that it is important to be active and to move daily. But it seems like there's a bit of confusion. Moving/being active doesn't necessarily mean working out! Besides, depending on your workouts, your metabolism, and your goals the answer will be different.
Let's check it up!
How often should I work out?
This is very personal, and it depends on the person, her pathology, her age, and her objectives. However, generally speaking, for people who go for intense workouts, it's not recommended to work out every day, they should have at least one rest day a week. And for those of whom who lift several times a week, it's also better to wait for a day in between the sessions. Yep, your body needs to rest to be able to rebuilt and to keep lifting.
On the contrary, for people who are less intense and moderate, it's not obliged to have a rest day. But, personally, I think it's important to have some rest, and apparently I'm not the only thinking that way. Sarah confirmed and went even further saying it's primordial! In fact, she explained that if your muscles are too tired it'll definitely affect your performances and damage your muscles, which will consequently stop your process of progress and make you regress. As she said, "Our body is not a machine".
A good rule of thumb for how many times people should work out is:
- 2-3 times a week for those who simply want to maintain their physical health
- 4-5 times a week for those who want to gain some muscles and get some physical results
Also, you have to know that it is actually better to do some short workouts every day rather than 2 long workouts a week. As well as working out 10 min a day is better than doing nothing.
What if I don't want to?
Don't be too hard with yourself and stop putting too much pressure on yourself. It's fine to skip the gym (provided it's not too frequent :p). If you don't feel like working out, or if you feel like your muscles are tired do not insist and listen to your body. Instead, try to go for a short walk or to stretch, this is enough activity for the day.
What kind of workouts should I do?
Once again, depending on your goals the type of exercises will be different. But it's often suggested to vary your exercises (between strength, endurance, flexibility, and balance while focussing a bit more on your personal goal) to reduce the chances of injuries and to shock your body in order to evolve otherwise your body will get used to the movements. Sarah supported this saying that there's really NO exercise to prioritize (generally speaking) as it'll depend on so many factors.
One more thing for this point! She also said that a HIIIT is very good when you want to burn some fat because it will burn fat 3 times faster than a regular cardio workout.
- Health and body benefits:
Fewer risks of cardiovascular diseases
Fewer risks of obesity
Help maintain your health and your weights
- Mental benefits:
Fewer risks of depression and anxiety
There isn't a one-size-fits-all answer. You should first listen to your body and your desires. Of course, if you never feel like working out it's a bit problematic. At first, you might need to force you a bit. It's all about moderation.
In a nutshell, don't be obsessive about sport and do what feels the best for you. Keep in mind that you need to be active. Normally it's said that it's good to have a moderate activity of 30 min every day (150 min per week) or to have 75 min of intense activity per week.