How Many Days Per Week Do You Need to Work Out?

scheduling how many days to work out

For those who are new to exercising or simply trying to re-establish the habit, the question of how many days per week to work out is tricky. The truth is, it depends on your goals. Everyone’s fitness goals are different, and the number of days you work out will directly correlate with your broader fitness plan.

Elite athletes looking to compete at the top of their game will train far more than the busy moms and dads struggling to find time for fitness while raising a family.

How Many Days Per Week Should You Work Out?

That said, here at Foundation FIT, we like to keep answers as simple as possible. So that’s why our mindset on the number of days to workout is simply:

You should work out more days than not.

So assuming like us, you also have 7 days in a week, aim for 4-5 days of intentional exercise, with 5 being optimal.

That’s easy enough, right? Maybe you can do 1-2 sessions with a personal trainer, go for a run 2 times and squeeze in a workout video while the baby is napping. Fantastic, there’s your 4-5!

Consistency is critical, and one of the best ways to measure it is by tracking your workouts once you complete them. You may use a calendar you keep in your office, a tally sheet, or use an app. Whichever way you prefer to track, be sure you can quickly count the number of days you’ve completed a workout over a period of time.

The best thing about committing to 5 out of 7 days working out is that it gives you one pass during the week and one pass on the weekend.

We know that sometimes you plan an evening workout, but suddenly your spouse has to work late, and you’re on kid duty instead.

But what if that happens 3 nights, and suddenly you’re dropping from 5 planned workouts to executing on two?

Again, we get it; life happens. And it’s in those times that you need to give yourself grace. It may be a good time to re-frame how you look at working out more days than not.

If your week seems to be a wash, zoom out and look at your month. Did you exercise more than 15 days of the month?

But what if you traveled a ton or had a sick child and you didn’t hit your exercise goals over the month? No problem, life comes at you fast! So zoom out again to look at 3 or 6 months. Did you move your body and do intentional exercises more days than not?

Exercising More Days Than Not is a Habit

What you’re ultimately doing when you work out more days than not is creating a habit. And once you’ve firmly established your habit, the days that you get in a workout seem more natural. Conversely, those where you don’t work out may start to seem a bit off. It may feel like you’re forgetting something, but you can’t quite put your finger on what.

The Last Word About How Many Days Per Week to Work Out

Once you reach the point of making exercise a habit, you’ll naturally gravitate toward working out more days than not. That’s because exercise becomes part of you, part of your lifestyle. Exercise is no longer a chore; it’s simply who you are. And those with a fit mindset will find it easy to exercise 5 days a week, or simply, more days than not.

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