How Many Times a Week Should You Really Work Out?

Wisdom from an exercise expert.

It seems like everyone has a different opinion on how often a person should be getting in some sweat. Doctors recommend some kind of strenuous physical activity each day, but when it comes to making that trek to your local gym, it helps to know exactly how often you should be breaking out that duffel bag. Luckily, trainer Angela LoBrutto is here to tell you how many times she believes you should be hitting the gym per week.

According to LoBrutto, the frequency with which you hit the gym really depends on what fitness goals you happen to be working toward. However, she says, “In general I believe you should workout at least four to five days a week [in order] to improve your fitness and stay in shape.”

Why four to five times per week? “Less exercise then that recommended can lead to risk of diseases and an obscene amount more can be considered over-training, which gives your body more stress than it can handle,” explains LoBrutto.

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If your goal is simply to maintain good health, LoBrutto has a bit of sage advice: “Three days a week should focus on strength training, two days a week should be focused on cardio and two days a week should be focused on active rest.”

And don’t be picky about where and when you work out. Lobrutto says the important thing is that you sweat in the first place. “Working out at home, with a trainer or at an outside gym all have their advantages and disadvantages,” she notes. “Whatever is going to make you happy, motivated and leading you to your goals is the best choice!”

No surprise, consistency is LoBrutto’s main tip. “Frequency is important for your body to complete a process of rebuilding and repairing,” she says, “and, most importantly, to help your body find a balance that [allows for] adaptation.”

This article originally appeared on

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