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Here's How Often You Need to Work Out To Lose Weight, According to a Trainer

A trainer reveals how often you should exercise if your goal is weight loss.
FACT CHECKED BY Alexa Mellardo

Losing weight is a common fitness goal for many, and incorporating regular exercise into your routine is a crucial component of any successful weight loss journey. But many of my clients wonder: How often should you work out for weight loss? That's why below, I've outlined the frequency of exercise, the best types of workouts for weight loss, and a sample weight-loss workout to kickstart your fitness routine.

Incorporating a well-rounded workout routine into your lifestyle, consisting of both strength training and cardiovascular exercise, is essential for effective weight loss. Finding a workout frequency that suits your schedule and goals, along with maintaining consistency, will contribute significantly to your success. Use the provided sample workout as a guide, and don't forget to listen to your body, making adjustments as needed to ensure a safe and sustainable weight loss journey.

Read on to learn more, and when you're finished, be sure to check out the 10 Best Exercises To Melt Lower Belly Fat.

How often should you work out for weight loss?

woman doing treadmill sprints at the gym, concept of belly fat exercises

The frequency of your workouts depends on various factors, including your current fitness level, overall health, and weight loss goals. However, a general guideline recommended by fitness experts and the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans is to aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise per week. This translates to around 30 minutes a day, five times a week.

Consistency is key when it comes to weight loss, so finding a workout schedule that fits into your routine and is sustainable in the long run is crucial. Whether you prefer daily workouts or opt for more extended sessions a few times a week, the key is to find a balance that works for you.

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This is the best exercise combo for weight loss:

fit senior woman at home demonstrates body parts to exercise after 60 with dumbbells

When it comes to losing weight, a combination of both strength training and cardiovascular exercise has proven to be highly effective. Strength training helps build lean muscle mass, which boosts your metabolism and helps burn more calories even at rest. Cardiovascular exercise, such as running, cycling, or swimming, helps torch calories and improve overall cardiovascular health.

The ideal approach is to incorporate a mix of both into your routine. Aim for at least two days of strength training and three days of cardiovascular exercise each week. This combination not only enhances weight loss but also promotes overall fitness and well-being.

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Here's a sample weight-loss workout:

This sample routine combines both strength training and cardiovascular exercise. Perform this routine three to four times a week with at least one day of rest between sessions.

Warm-up (5 to 10 minutes)

  1. Jumping jacks
  2. Dynamic stretches (arm circles, leg swings)

Strength Training (20 to 30 minutes)

  1. Squats: 3 sets of 12 reps
  2. Pushups: 3 sets of 10 reps
  3. Lunges: 3 sets of 10 reps per leg
  4. Bent-over rows: 3 sets of 12 reps
  5. Planks: 3 sets, hold for 30 seconds each

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Cardiovascular Exercise (20 to 30 minutes)

  1. Running or brisk walking: 20 minutes
  2. Cycling or stationary biking: 10 minutes
  3. Jump rope: 5 minutes

Cool-Down (5 to 10 minutes)

  1. Static stretches (hamstring stretch, chest opener)
  2. Deep breathing exercises

Remember, this sample workout is just a starting point. Adjust the intensity and duration based on your fitness level, and gradually increase the challenge as you become more comfortable with the routine. Additionally, consult with a fitness professional or healthcare provider before starting any new exercise program, especially if you have pre-existing health conditions.

Tyler Read, BSc, CPT
Tyler Read is a personal trainer and has been involved in health and fitness for the past 15 years. Read more about Tyler
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