Small weight on top of workout calendar

—Darla G., Ashford University, California

The frequency in which you should be working out depends on what your goals are. For many people, general health and wellness are their main reasons for exercising.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend a minimum of:

2 hours and 30 minutes per week of moderate intensity aerobic activity, such as brisk walking or stationary biking.


1 hour and 15 minutes of vigorous exercise per week, such as running or high-impact cardio.


Strength training on two or more days per week where you aim to work all major muscle groups. This can include using machine weights, free weights, or body weight exercises such as lunges, push-ups, and planks.

Don’t forget to build in time for active rest days

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends taking at least 48 hours between strength training sessions. This doesn’t mean you should do nothing on those days. Instead, use your days off from strength training to get some moderate or intense aerobic activity in. If you’re feeling particularly sore, take it easy with a relaxed swim or walk. Find out more about active rest.

Fit exercise into your schedule in a way that works for you

You don’t have to do all your exercise in large blocks of time. Breaking up the exercise segments into smaller time blocks can make it more manageable. If you have 10 or 20 minutes to kill after lunch, take a brisk walk or do a 15-minute YouTube workout. That can help cut down on the time you need to spend working out later.

You can split up your physical activity over a few days a week or as many as 5–6 days a week. Just try to move a little each day, no matter what.

Use these general guidelines to find what works best for your goals and your schedule

Current physical activity guidelines: CDC

New recommendations on quantity and quality of exercise: American College of Sports Medicine