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Real Life Nutrition Questions Answered

Real Life Fitness Questions Answered

Emma Brown
Nutritionist

Janet Aylott
Nutritionist

Kelly Marshall
Fitness Consultant

Q.

How many times a week should I exercise?

Hi, I have been doing a workout video lately called Tricord, which uses resistance bands and involves strength and cardio moves, as well as abdominal exercises. I wanted to ask, because I have read in the past that your muscles need to rest when doing resistance training, how many times a week would you suggest doing it?

I work and study, so I am out all day, between 7 am and 7.30 pm, so it's hard for me to fit in some cardio lately, as I mostly want to just sleep! Also, since I live in a flat, I can't really do an awful lot of jumping aerobics around, and I quite enjoy this workout as well as Pilates, so what would you suggest? Is everyday doing this workout ok or do I need rest days in between?

A.

Our expert says...

Hi,

Your right in what you have read in that the body does require rest after training and this is particularly true with strength (resistance) training. The muscles take 24-48 hours to recover from a specific type of training and it is therefore highly recommended that the same mode of exercise (i.e. cardio or strength training) or the same muscle groups are given the above rest before being targeted again. Although a lot of people run/ do cardiovascular exercise on consecutive days this type of exercise also fatigues the muscles and they recover far more effectively with a day?s rest even if this is achieved merely by being worked in a different way?i.e. a different class, sport, leisure activity.

With your Tricord video you could do it up to 4 times a week if you had a day of rest in between (so doing the workout every other day). This would be the maximum I would suggest though and if possible substitute some of those workouts with a different type of exercise (even if its just a different video) as this will maximise your exercise and calorie burning benefits as well as preventing repetitive stress injuries or boredom though overdoing the same type of exercise/same workout. Pilates would be a good option for in between your Tricord-type training due to the flexibility-focused properties of the Pilates principles.

I suggest you work your cardio around your schedule and if you are tired in the evening then go for a short walk/run in the morning! Time is only a limiting factor if you let it be one! Try it and if it seems impossible then you are simply going to have to force yourself to go for that cardio element after work. If you got a home piece of cardiovascular equipment do you think that may help you achieve this element of your exercise? Just a thought as this is an effective solution for some people.

Hope this helps

Kelly

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