For the past 5 years I have attended the gym regularly, on average I would go to the gym 3 times per week, sometimes more or less than this. Lately I have found that I am going to the gym 5 times per week and this is because I have incorporated Yoga and Pilates. The classes that I do are on different days and as a result I find that I go 5 times per week but I was wondering if this could be too much exercise.
Whilst I do enjoy my classes I do not want to over do it. After doing a bit of research I found that there are numerous arguments for and against exercising 5 times per week but it seems that the best advice is to listen to your body and see what works for you and what gets you the best results.
Some argue that you should not exercise more than 3-4 times per week as too much exercise might lead to over-training, and you need to give your body stimulus to get muscle growth and to lose fat off your body. Exercising too often does not give your body the chance to rebuild and repair.
However the Telegraph reported on a study which followed 200 overweight women for 2 years, they were given the same calorie in take allowance each day (between 1,200 and 1,500 calories). Within 6 months most of them lost between 8- 10% of their overall body weight but the majority could not maintain the weight loss. Just under 25% of the women were able to keep the weight off for 2 years but they all exercised for 55 minutes per day 5 times per week.
I will continue to exercise 5 days per week and just listen to my body. My average week consists of the following:
- Monday- Pilates
- Tuesday- Spinning 1 hour followed by body pump
- Wednesday- Spinning 1 hour followed by 10 minute ab workout
- Thursday- Body Pump
- Friday- Yoga
I always ensure that my exercise is varied, working different muscle groups each day. How many times you exercise per week is not as important as ensuring that you do some challenging exercise. Always listen to your body and take a break when you feel that it needs it.