Regular exercise is good for our bodies. It helps us to stay healthy, fit, mobile, and strong. Working out regularly also allows us to enjoy some of life’s joys, such as occasional sweet treats or indulgent meals, without feeling guilty. Exercising two to three hours a week is common practice for the average adult. However, with the growing #fitspo culture in our world, you can also find many individuals making exercise and fitness a dominant theme in their lives. It’s not uncommon to hear someone training almost every day or even twice a day.
This begs a question: how often should one train?
There is no one size fits all prescription for everyone, because it depends on each individual’s level of activity, age, and lifestyle. In this blog article, we identify a few common lifestyle scenarios that could help you gauge the right amount of time you should be spending on fitness.
1. Absolute beginner
You’ve gone through a few sedentary years. Your only brush with fitness was PE back in school, and even then, you mostly slacked off and faked cramps to get out of a tough workout. Your arms quiver when you get into a push-up position (with your knees on the ground!), and you are winded after a quick run for the bus.
Yet, it’s never too late to start. If you are just easing into a fitness routine, begin with one to two days of exercise per week. The initial start will feel tough, but don’t quit just yet! We promise that you will get used to it after some time. Consistency is the key to getting used to working out. You cannot exercise once a month and expect the workout to feel easier, or to see results. Commit yourself to at least one day per week (minimum of 30 minutes each time), and increase it to two days to see a noticeable difference in your physique, stamina, and strength.
2. Fitness for a fun and balanced lifestyle
You have a busy life that comprises work, family, and socials. Training too often is out of the question for you in lieu of all your commitments. However, you understand the need to stay active enough to eat whatever you want and still look good.
It is possible to balance fitness with a busy lifestyle! Many working professionals opt for early morning exercise sessions before they begin their day. These are the best hours for many, because it is uninterrupted time for themselves. An hour in the gym first thing in the morning also helps them feel refreshed and ready to face the challenges ahead.
Sounds good to you? Choose to exercise an hour every weekday, so that your weekends are freed up for recreation and bonding time with your loved ones. If the thought of having to wake up at the crack of dawn five weekdays a week is rather daunting, start off by committing to at least three mornings. Or, mix in a quick lunchtime session.
3. Serious fitness buff and/or aspiring sports competitor
So you’ve been exercising for a while now, and admittedly, you love the adrenaline rush so much that you’ve swapped old hobbies for gym sessions. Your physique has transformed tremendously, as have your eating habits (it’s quite likely you eat for two, now). 70% of your wardrobe comprises activewear; you even dress in ‘athleisure’ (activewear styled as daily wear) to go to work or to meet your friends.
In fact, you’ve taken your favourite hobby sport so seriously that you have started participating in amateur competitions to test your skills!
If this is the case, your training needs to be more intentional than that of the regular hobbyist. Many amateur competitors commit to training in their competitive sport at least 4-5 times a week, some even twice a day. On top of that, they also make time for strength and conditioning sessions to help them with that added boost to their form.
Professional athletes take it to yet another level by spending time on various aspects of their training each day, from light drills, to pushing themselves through tough grinds, to rehabilitation work, to studying and analysis with a coach.
In between it all, rest is of utmost importance. This means that even if you love fitness to the point of making it your dominant lifestyle, it is not advisable to work out 7 days a week. Giving oneself at least a day or two of rest and recreation allows recovery, which is a huge contributor to the process of getting fitter, faster, and stronger. Rest days also reset the mind, keep the element of fun alive, and most importantly - keeps you connected to friends and family.
Wherever you are at on your fitness journey, don’t forget to be aware of your body’s needs. On top of that, always let yourself enjoy the process of keeping fit and achieving goals for yourself.
What does your weekly schedule look like, and how does fitness fit in all of it? At FaMA - Fitness and Martial Arts, we offer Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai and Fitness classes of various levels over the course of the day, so you can attend those which flow better with your daily routine. Give it a try with our free one-week trial!
FaMA - Fitness and Martial Arts Established in 2016, FaMA is a world-class martial arts academy located in the heart of the Central Business District in Singapore. Walking distance from Clarke Quay and Fort Canning MRT stations, FaMA’s main goal is to help people improve their lives through martial arts regardless of age or athletic capability. Our Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), Muay Thai Kickboxing, Kids Martial Arts and Fitness programs are led by experts in their respective fields. So, whether it is weight loss, a fun workout, camaraderie, competition training, or just to break a sweat, FaMA has something for the whole family.