Over 22% Of People Say They Work Out This Many Days Per Week

Exercise is an important lifestyle choice that promotes physical and mental health. According to Family Doctor, exercising "prevents health problems builds strength, boosts energy, and can help you reduce stress." But it can be hard to incorporate exercise into your daily routine; not everyone has hours to spend at the gym before or after a full day of work. Luckily, working out is so much more than leg presses and running on a treadmill.

Club Industry said the most popular workout routine in 2019 was actually yoga, followed by strength training and Zumba. For those who can't swing the gym membership, or prefer more outdoor exercise, try stretching your muscles while exploring nature. Hiking, cycling, and swimming are all fun outdoor activities that cost next to nothing and work for both your body and your mind (via U.S. News & World Report). Even something as simple as taking a nice stroll through the neighborhood gets your body moving and boosts your dopamine levels.

With all the health benefits and all the different ways to exercise, how often do people actually work out on average? The List got to the bottom of it; we conducted a survey of 573 people that asked, "How many days a week do you typically exercise?"

How often should you actually be working out?

According to The List's survey, a majority of people typically exercise three days a week, with 22.51% of the vote. People who work out two days a week followed close behind with almost 20%. The survey also reported that 19.37% of people prioritize exercising five or more times per week, while 11.17% of people only workout once each week, and almost 15% do not typically exercise at all. The wide range of responses is not surprising: the amount of exercise someone needs and what kind of exercise they benefit from most is personal, based on each individual's health and lifestyle.

According to a study by the National Center for Health Statistics, one of the biggest factors that affect workout habits is a person's job. People with jobs that involve constant movement or physical labor throughout the day are more likely to get the intended amount of exercise during their work hours, while someone who is more sedentary at their office job will need to be more intentional in working out outside of their work hours (via Time).

There's really no one right answer when it comes to how many times you exercise in a week, so practice listening to your body and identifying ways that you can incorporate healthy movement into your week slowly and naturally. Over time, it will become easier; you might even find you enjoy your exercise routine.

Navigating toxic gym culture

In recent years, toxic gym culture has plagued the exercise industry, making it hard for people to feel comfortable working out. Varsity reports that social media influencers and wellness gurus can sometimes perpetuate "unrealistic body standards," posting overly-filtered photos and intense workout routines with the goal of becoming extremely lean or muscular. This type of content can cause others to compare themselves to the fitness influencers and become discouraged if they don't measure up.

Going to the gym can be extremely intimidating until you remember that everyone was a beginner at first, even the bodybuilders deadlifting 250 pounds in the corner. If you are feeling out of place when working out, try inviting a friend you trust, attend a class with a helpful instructor, or wear your cutest athleisure (via PureWow). There's something magical about finding a cute workout outfit — even the newest of newcomers strut into the gym when they're looking fabulous.

For those who are still navigating their exercise routine or gathering the courage to renew that membership, keep going, you're doing great! And for those who feel like the gym is their second home, try to set an example for others by being encouraging, welcoming, and non-judgmental: exercise is for everybody and every body.