How Often Should I Workout?
Whenever I start working with someone that has weight loss goals, they always ask how many times they should workout a week. My answer may surprise some of you. The most important aspect of losing weight is your diet. If you are not eating healthy, then you will never drop any weight no matter how much you workout. An intense workout consisting of resistance training and cardio will burn somewhere between 600-900 calories a session. While eating three slices of a Pizza Hut's pepperoni pizza adds 1020 calories, 111 carbs, and 2760 mg of sodium to your daily intake. Let me put this into perspective for you. You got motivated to go to the gym. You worked your tail off and burned 900 calories. GREAT JOB!!! But instead of going home and eating something healthy, you decide to sit down at Pizza Hut. The calories you ate have completely trumpeted your hopes of weight loss for the day. Great job in the gym, but your unhealthy choice has set you back. So when trying to achieve your weight loss goals, you must be conscious of what you eat.
As for the weekly workouts, choose exercises that you enjoy. You must mix things up or you will not maintain this healthy lifestyle. If you enjoy swimming, aerobic classes, lifting weights, and running on the elliptical then do just that. Just remember these general guidelines.
When lifting, never train the same muscle group two days in a row. The body needs time to heal the muscles that you worked to make them bigger. Overtraining a specific muscle group will only decrease muscle size. Resistance training for beginners should be done three times a week while more advanced lifters may life as much as six times a week. Remember though, these lifters are not working the same muscle group each and everyday.
Cardio four times a week is what I suggest. Remember, we must build a lifestyle or eventually all your bad habits will come back and you will be right back where you started. Mix these cardio sessions up and work for duration. If you want more "bang for your buck" shoot for forty minutes. This duration will take your body into the fat burn stage for nearly half of your workout. It is important to mix interval training into your weekly sessions as well. Shocking the body with faster paced sprint intervals will burn major calories.
Swimming can be used for cardio as well. Make sure to check your heart rate while in the pool to make sure it is elevated the entire duration.
Like I always say, don't do things you do not enjoy. Write down your goals and set up a program that works for you. Use these guidelines above and get to work. You can achieve anything you put your mind too.
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