Thanks to the cardio-marathon mindset of the 80s, most folks are convinced they need to exercise for over an hour, seven days a week, to “get fit.” But that’s not even close to the truth. So, how often should the average person workout?

First and foremost, your nutrition is more important than your exercise habits when it comes to fat loss and longevity. If you run for an hour each day but still have a doughnut for breakfast every morning, you could be shortening your life span and increasing your waist size. To set the foundation for fat loss and fitness, stick with whole, natural foods, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, fish, and protein.

For your exercise sessions, focus on quality and intensity, not quantity. By exercising three days per week for only 45 minutes per session (or less!), you can strengthen your entire body. Try multi-muscle resistance exercises for strength, and burn fat with short-burst interval training. Follow that up with stretches for tight muscle groups only, and you’ll be in and out of the gym before you know it.

Spend the remaining four days of the week staying active and keeping your butt off the couch. Keep your body and mind busy with activities you love, such as walking with your dog, doing yoga, playing sports, or running errands by bike or on foot.

Craig Ballantyne

Craig Ballantyne is the author of The Perfect Day Formula: How to Own the Day and Control Your Life. Craig has been a contributor to Men’s Health magazine for over 17 years. Today he teaches his gift high-performing entrepreneurs how to squeeze more out of their days, increase their income, and make more quality time for their families in his Perfect Life Workshop and Work-Life Mastery programs. Craig used his own advice to overcome crippling anxiety attacks in 2006, and he’ll teach you his 5 Pillars of Success so you can increase your income, decrease your work time, and live the life of your dreams. Learn more about Craig at craigballantyne.com