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How To Schedule Your Week Of Workouts

Health Digest logo: MainLogo Health Digest 8/16/2022 Robin Rothstein
woman confused in workout clothes © Krakenimages.com/Shutterstock woman confused in workout clothes

Regular physical exercise is important to your overall health. According to Health.gov, you should be getting in a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity weekly -- plus two days (or more) of strength training, to maintain optimum health. If you can manage 300 minutes of moderate-intense aerobic exercise each week -- even better!

While getting in even the minimum amount of moderate-intensity cardio workouts each week, plus the two days of strength activities, may sound daunting, the experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) emphasize that you can break up the time any number of ways. For instance, you can do 30 minutes a day, five times per week to hit the 150 minutes of cardio, or choose longer workout periods over fewer days. In fact, the results of a recent study revealed that if you are a "weekend warrior" and typically consolidate your 150 minutes of aerobic exercise over the weekend, you are getting the same benefits as someone who schedules their workouts over more days.

According to the American Heart Association (AHA) website, there are fun ways to incorporate moderate-intensity workouts, such as biking, dancing, gardening, and taking a brisk walk. If you typically engage in more vigorous physical activities, such as running, biking over 10 miles per hour, or swimming laps, the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans state you only need to get in 75 minutes of these kinds of activities each week (via Health.gov).

Why You Need To Workout Every Week

older couple doing outdoor workout © Evgeny Atamanenko/Shutterstock older couple doing outdoor workout

If you haven't exercised regularly in a while, you may be having trouble finding the motivation to work out for 150 minutes every week. Understanding why exercise is so important may provide the inspiration for you to get back in the game. Whatever your long-term goal is, the experts at Mayo Clinic emphasize that the immediate benefit of exercise is how it will make you feel better both physically and mentally by giving you an energy boost and improving your mood. Regular exercise can also help you get a better night's rest. Studies have indicated that getting a good night's sleep on a consistent basis is essential in lowering the risk for certain diseases and medical conditions. These include type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and mental health issues -- among others, per Sleep Foundation.

If this has helped you get motivated to put on your running shoes or bike helmet, that's great. But the question you may have is how to build an interesting week of workouts within a schedule that's right for you -- and that you'll be able to maintain.

This Balanced Weekly Workout Will Get You Results

man riding bicycle outdoors © Soloviova Liudmyla/Shutterstock man riding bicycle outdoors

When thinking about how to plan a comprehensive workout schedule, consider mixing things up. The variety will hold your interest while also focusing on your overall conditioning, celebrity strength and nutrition coach Adam Rosante tells Shape. For example, a balanced workout over six days could start with 45 to 60 minutes of upper body strength training. Find dumbbells that are a comfortable weight to work out your upper body, or find a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workout at the gym or online. On Tuesday, give your upper body a rest to avoid injury and move on to the lower body. If you love yoga, then go for 60 minutes of yoga on Wednesday. Mix up your yoga flow each week or alternate yoga with another activity, like swimming or a gentle bike ride. 

On Thursday, it's time to pick up the pace with a HIIT session. If you did a HITT workout earlier in the week, there are endless versions, so pick a different style for the variety and challenge. Rosante asserts that it is also important to focus on your core strength -- so use Friday as an opportunity to get in total body strength training. Choose an exercise that engages all your muscle groups for 30 to 60 minutes. Saturday is cardio day -- so run or bike for as long as you like. And, finally, it's Sunday. You made it! Your reward? Giving your body the day of rest and recovery it deserves, per Shape.

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