Welcome to ‘We Asked The Experts’, where our professional know-alls answer the questions that have been puzzling you. Today on the segment, personal trainers, Victoria Burdon from 98 Riley St Gym and Ben Lucas from Flow Athletic break down the common conundrum: how often should you exercise if you’re otherwise sedentary? … Got a question you want answered? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
At Sporteluxe, we love helping our readers through every stage of their fitness journey. Whether you’re a seasoned gym junkie or about to step foot in one for the very first time, we’re committed to providing you with the latest and greatest advice from our fitness experts.
So, when one of our dear readers wrote in with this great question: ‘how many days per week should you exercise if you’re otherwise sedentary or just starting out?’ we were keen to get some answers from the pros. Here, personal trainers Ben Lucas from Flow Athletic and Victoria Burdon from 98 Gym weigh in on how many sessions beginners and desk jockeys should aim for.
“If you are coming off zero exercise, I would aim for 3 to 4 times a week, so every other day. You don’t need to go too hard when you start. For example, if you are planning on running, run for 20-30 minutes and build yourself up over the next few weeks to an hour.
Related article: How to choose the correct weights when strength training.
Or if you are lifting weights, start with lighter weights and easier movement patterns. If you are a complete beginner, I would suggest getting a coach to show you how to do the exercises so that you don’t injure yourself.”
— Ben Lucas, Co-founder, Director and Trainer at Flow Athletic
“As a beginner starting to exercise, my first recommendation would be to measure your steps and aim for 10,000 per day. Focus on moving regularly throughout the day and this will make a huge difference to your sedentary lifestyle. It may be difficult at first but once you make the effort to get moving you will realise it’s not that hard to achieve after all!
To begin working out, I’d recommend 3 days a week of at least 45 minutes of low to moderate intensity exercise. After a few weeks, when your body is more used to exercising, aim for 3 to 5 days each week of exercise, at least two of which should be some sort of strength training. The other days should be 45 minutes of low- to moderate-intensity exercise or 30 minutes of high-intensity exercise.
Adding strength workouts will build muscle and strength, improve your overall fitness, raise your metabolism, and give you a leaner look. Making exercise part of your daily regime is beneficial not only for your physical health but your mental health as well, so the more days you can get moving the better!”
— Victoria Burdon, Personal Trainer at 98 Gym