Decoding fitness trends: how often should you really work out?

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Wisdom on how (and how often) to work out varies as fitness trends come and go. So, to help you decipher the best work out plan for your goals, fitness level and schedule, we’ve picked out the four key questions you need to ask yourself to optimise your gym time.

1. How many days a week do you need to train?

While working out as much as four or five times a week is recommended, this can be tricky to fit into a schedule. So, to achieve improvements in your health and fitness, experts recommend training at least three times a week. Any less than this, and your body won’t be pushed to adapt and strengthen.

2. Should you weight train two days in a row?

If you’re lifting weights regularly, it’s best to take a day of rest between each session. If you don’t give muscles the time they need to recover, you could risk injuries that would put you out of action completely. That said, it’s safe to train on consecutive days if you’re working on different muscle groups.

3. How essential is sleep to my wellbeing?

Quality sleep is the base on which your health is built, so it’s important to make time for plenty of shut-eye every night. Your body uses sleep to grow stronger, burn fat and rebuild damaged muscle tissue. Don’t skimp on snoozing: you need between seven and eight hours a night to stay on top form.

4. How long should your workout be?

Experts suggest that – to see real change – you should work out for 45 minutes to an hour at every session. Make sure you account for ten minutes of warming up and cooling down, with 30-40 minutes of weight training. Or, if you’re conditioning rather than building strength, half-hour workouts can be productive too.

What’s your workout routine? Share and swap tips with us on Twitter and Facebook.

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