How many times a week should I exercise? A personal trainer explains

The pandemic wreaked havoc on our fitness routines, and many people are still trying to find their way back to regular exercise.

We know exercising and physical activity plays a crucial role in our overall physical and mental health – but how often do we really need to exercise to start reaping the benefits?

Ben Lucas, personal trainer and founder of Flow Athletic, says there are benefits of exercising every day. But you don’t have to.

READ MORE: The workout trick that could improve your mental health

Personal trainer Ben Lucas recommends exercising five days a week. (Getty)

“Whilst it’s hard for some people to exercise every day, there are benefits of doing so if you have more of a flexible lifestyle that allows so,” Ben tells 9Honey.

“Of course exercising every day of the week can increase your physical fitness, but your body naturally needs to rest too, which is why I suggest working out five days of the week.”

Now, five days might sound like a lot, especially for time-poor parents or full-time workers. But Ben, trainer to Erin Holland and Sammy Robinson, stresses “five days of exercising does not have to mean high-intensity, muscle-building workouts”.

“There are many age-appropriate workouts for all demographics to be able to have a five-day workout week,” he explains.

“For the elderly, a simple walk each week day is enough to keep your physical activity up. For young adults and those middle-aged, a few studio classes a week followed by a morning or evening run is all it takes to keep healthy and fit.

“Finding the right exercise balance will be an individual experience for everyone and ensuring you also have a healthy diet to compliment your lifestyle is just as important.”

READ MORE: Three reasons not to use BMI to measure your health

It doesn’t have to be a high-intensity workout every time. (Getty)

Here, Ben shares some tips on how to at least include some physical exercise in your day if you are time poor:

Take the stairs

“If you work in an office environment, you most likely are desk-bound for the majority of your day. Taking the stairs to your office level whenever you go in and out of work can be a great way to include some physical activity into your day.”

Make the most of the weather

“Should there be a sunny day during the working week, try getting off a few stops earlier and walking the remainder of your trip to your office location. This will at least allow a small walk and some light physical activity to be included into your busy day.”

Social fitness

“For some people, they want to use the weekends to relax after a long week of work and can sometimes avoid exercising and favour social catch-ups. The next time you plan to catch up with a friend on the weekend, you could even suggest going to a group workout together, trying a new fitness studio or catching up over a coffee and a walk in the park.”

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