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How Important Is It To Take A Day Off From Cardio?

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Hey Everybody,

I have been trying to get in shape for the summer, and finally to my surprise, I have been able to keep a nutritious diet (most of the time) and I have been keeping on top of regular exercise for about 2 weeks now. 

I have 2 questions.  First of all, I am 5'8" and 168 lbs, 22 years old.  My target weight is around 140 lbs.  During the week I do not have a lot of trouble eating a nutritious diet.  I do not log my calories on here (I somewhat find it too much work) but I do try to pay attention to nutrition labels and don't overdo it.  I have lost 6 lbs. in the last 2 weeks (definitly some due to TTOTM).  2 weeks ago I did 30 mins. of cardio on 3 different days, and 35 minutes pilates one day.  Last week I did cardio 4x and pilates one day, each for about 30 - 40 minutes.  Does this sound like it would be enough for me to keep dropping the pounds?  Or should I increase the length of my workout?

Second question.  How important is it to take a day off from exercising?  I am feeling really great and I would like to try to do a cardio or pilates workout 6x this week.  But I heard that taking a day off from exercise is just as important as exercise itself because your muscles need time to repair themselves.  Is this just for weight training or does this apply to cardio also?

Any thoughts?

Edited Apr 16 2007 20:55 by pandajenn19
Reason: Moved to fitness forum
17 Replies (last)
For ME, it is important to take a day off. Otherwise, I burn out and stop going. Also, life's just busy enough that.. I usually can't go to the gym every day.

Is your workout enough? I think so. Why don't you try it and see if you lose weight this way? :)

if you weight train, you need to give your muscles rest so they can repair and you wont hurt yourself.

I dont know about cardio, but if you want to workout 6x a week, go for it. make sure you eat enough calories while doing it.
I am really glad you asked this question, cuz I need the input also...I do cardio 7x a week at 40 minutes each timeand I only take off 1 day every 2 weeks...hmmm do i do too much cardio? Suggestions

*Also I notice when I do take a day off I get sore, but when I dont I feel fine*
Nicely enoguh I don't go to a gym I just do workout videos from home!  Ha!  It's so convenient.  Works great too.
I am not an expert, but I tend to work out in some way 7 days a week, but I don't always do the same things. For instance, Sunday tends to be my day off. I take a day off from cardio, weights and pilates, but I still take a yoga class on Sunday. I have also found that my body lets me know when it needs a day off. I tend to need a full day off from everything about once every 3 weeks.
I do cardio usually 6 days a week.   But here lately as I've been pushing myself in the "learn to run" program I've found that I need maybe 2 days off.   Still, I get some cardio in through walking on one of those days off and will still atleast hit the gym for lifting weights.
I can't give you a definite answer on this, being that I really don't know for sure.

However, why not try doing your usual cardio type stuff 6 days a week, and then just walk around a lot on the 7th as a type of rest?

I would think basically as long as you're working different muscles and what not on the different days, the actual cardio effect (i.e. raised heart rate) should not do any harm
I've never had to give a break in days between cardio but I usually do with weight training.

You're straining your muscles and although you may not feel very sore, your muscles will be repairing so leave it a day.

I think aslong as you warm up, cool down and stretch properly, you don't need to take a break between cardio. Infact, I think it's recommended that people do at least 30 minutes cardio a day.  

Thats probably enough to start loosing weight. I found that I had to up the workouts the longer I tried to loose weight though.

I don't think thats to much. If you feel like you can do it then you should do it. But if your body tells you to take a break simply listen to it. Everybody is diff. I used to do cardio 6x a week. My body usually told me to take a break by sunday. I have been slacking lately. I want to get back to that level though. And the legth of time I to cardio depends on the cardio workout I do.

For me I do...

-30 min. for the ellipticle       ;    -at least one hour if i'm going to walk        ;    -If I do a cardio workout video I like it to be an hour but most of them aren't that long.            -If I run it's just for short spurts while i'm walking but i'm learning to run longer.      &n bsp; 

Basically It's diff every day. You should do anything you feel comfortable doing. And when you get tired take a break
Taking one day off seems to be okay, but I've noticed if I have to take two or three days off in a row, when I get back to exercise I have no stamina -_- .  Then I have to slowly build myself back up to doing my normal amount of exercise all over again (annoying!).  I'm trying not to skip days anymore, when I can help it.
Cardio can be done daily - you do not need a rest day - but as others have said maybe do a light workout one day a week.  I do cardio at least an hour a day in different zones and different workouts. On the weekends I take it "easy" and just walk 4 miles a day. 

Taking a day off is for muscle groups for weight lifting.  So if you work upper body one day and lower the next you wouldn't necessarily have to take a day off from weights either. 

According to the American Heart Associaton you should do 30 minutes of "moderate" exercise EVERY day.
I've been exersizing and eating well for awhile now.

You can do cardio 7 days a week if your main goal is to lose weight.

Doing cardio more then 3 days a week doesn't add to the benefit for your cardiovascular system, the studies shown that there just wasn't much more of a benefit in that respect.

However, since your goal is losing weight, then you can go for it. 

Eating 4/1 carbs to protein after your workout will help your body repair and restore quicker.

You can increase your weight gain if you do some weights as well, but you can't do heavy stuff everyday.

Another thing you might want to try is to do some light weights for about 20 minutes before you do your cardio.  This will help burn up some of the glycogen and when you do your cardio it will burn more fat.

I found the best routine for me is I do cardio 6 days a week.  Morning is best, but I can't always fit it in.  I take a 2 mile walk each day at lunch at work.  The days I do cardio only, it's about 45 minutes.  Every other or third day depending on how I feel, I will do weights and then cardio afterwards for about 20 minutes of interval training. This has proved to keep me losing weight for months now.
I had the same question, and google annswered it for me :)

I posted this thread : 6.html

and i am trying to make saturdays my days off..

I feel the urge to go for a jog now, coz i know i'll feel great afterwards, but sometimes you have to stop thinking about ur feelings, and think about ur body :)
nooree - I think instead of jogging maybe just go for  nice walk.  Walking for me is a great stress releaser and since its not intense I consider it my off day workouts.  
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I do the stationary bike for 60 minutes in the morning and 60 minutes at night, if I do less than that I feel like a failure,

I am 100 pounds, I was 125 in Feb. so diet and exercise has really worked for me, I do cardio everyday, and 5 days a week I do strenth training too, i also do the ab roller for 400 crunches everyday...

I dont think that you can lose as much weight without a ton of cardio, thats what melts away fat.....
Hi selw999!  Welcome to the CC forums!  I wanted to post because I'm a bit concerned about a couple things you said.  Please feel free to let me know if I'm off base!

2 hours on a stationary bike every day is a *lot* of cardio!  Which in and of itself isn't horrible, but I'm very concerned when you say: if I do less than that I feel like a failure

Would you mind sharing with us what height you are?  I'm only asking because depending on your height and age, 100 may be underweight.  Are you still trying to lose more weight?

I think it would be wonderful if you could check out this link: rcise.php, which explains how compulisive exercising can be a sign of an eating disorder.  I'm not saying you have one, by any means.  I'm just saying that I'm concerned that you 'feel like a failure' if you don't exercise 90 minutes more every day than is required for optimal health. 

Please take care of yourself!
i was mentally allergic to exercise my whole life and finally realized I need to do some... so I kind of wanted to know how much I could do for a minimum.... and get away with... ~ lol ~ i know... real couch potato attitude that i'm working on changing!

anyway, what i remember finding out was several very interesting things...

Cardio exercise... If you do this 5 - 6 times a week, minimum 4 times a week for 30 mins a day,

Strength & Resistance  ~ if you do this 2 to 3 days a week with a day off inbetween. 

Stretching & Flexibility ~ Don't forget stretching & flexibility for range of motion and being able to move about easily!  Yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi, Ballet, Dance...

Getting started with exercise... 171

~ so there you have it... ya get started & make adjustments ~ as we become fit, we do more...  But... not too much more.  There's a point where you overexercise and do more harm than good.  Better to find a balance in life & do alternative exercise ~ sports with friends, gardening, housecleaning or dancing to music, walking the dog... hiking in the woods ;)

17 Replies