Regular exercise will help to improve your health and fitness. The ideal number of exercise sessions that we should do each week depends on the components of fitness that we want to develop, as well as our individual fitness goal.
For most persons, a frequency of three to five days of exercise sessions each week is recommended. This will improve our blood pressure, heart rate, blood circulation and endurance. If we have more than two rest days between our exercise sessions, we are less likely to benefit from the improvements.
There can be some improvement in our heart and lung function with less than three days of exercise each week. However, such improvement is likely to be minimal to modest at best. Likewise, very little body fat is likely to be lost overall.
Exercise sessions are recommended for every other day, especially for those who run or jog. If you are unfit or you are sedentary, your are less likely to experience muscle soreness, fatigue or injury. The injury rate that is related to the foot, ankle and knee joints increase dramatically when beginners in exercise programmes exercise more than three days per week.
Without rest days between, we find that the injuries tend to occur more frequently. For those who are just starting an exercise programme such as running or jogging, if you want to exercise more frequently than three days each week, you can alternate with other activities. Other activities such as walking, cycling and swimming, where possible, can be done, especially since these are easier on your joints.
By exercising less than two days per week does not show any adequate change in our lung function. On the other hand, by exercising more than five days per week does not show much improvement above what we gain in five days. There is a certain amount of exercise that we all respond to quickly and successfully. However, as we go beyond that level, our improvement gets less for the time we devote to the routine. Three to five sessions of exercise each week can provide us with enormous benefits. This also give our muscles time to recover between exercise sessions. Likewise, a general fitness exercise programme of two to three sessions each week can be appropriate for those persons who want to improve their general strength and flexibility.
If you do resistance exercises every day, this could cause you to become tired and fatigued. This could increase your chances of sustaining injuries and eventually impede your progress. Persons who are doing strength exercises and have peaked can exercise less frequently each week since they are likely to be exercising the same muscle groups. However, by changing the exercises for that group of muscles additional strength development can be achieved.
The amount of exercise that you do, as well as the number of times you repeat the exercise routine, is a good guide to your weekly sessions. An increase in the difficulty of the exercise could lead to a reduction in the number of sessions each week.
In cases where persons have arthritis or circulation problems, exercise may be done daily. Some persons can exercise only for short periods at a time because of structural and functional limitations. In these cases exercise sessions will need to be shorter, less intense and more frequent which could be daily. As our functional capacity improves, the duration and intensity of the exercise can be increased while the number of days are reduced. Other persons who are exercising more than five times each week quite likely are not exercising for their health and fitness but for competition. How often we exercise each week could also be a sign of our tolerance which can lead to an addiction to exercise.