Suppose one wishes to start an aerobic workout routine. Assuming one is young and without illness, is a 30 min a day workout (approx 15 min jogging and 15 minute walking intermittently) a reasonable workout routine, or should rest days be initially scheduled?

If rest days should be scheduled, how many per week would be recommended? Would you recommend the number of rest days being reduced over time?

  • "You should only ask practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face." from the faq. Please change your question so that it relates to your personal situation.
    – Baarn
    Dec 29 '12 at 14:34
  • 3
    The question is based on one that I face. The FAQ doesn't say the question has to be framed in a personal way, as long as the question is BASED on a problem which I face. I think the problem I face is quite evident in the question.
    – Kenshin
    Dec 29 '12 at 14:35
  • Have you even tried jogging for 15 minutes? Some people might have no problems doing it again the next day, other people are so sore that they need two days of rest.
    – Baarn
    Dec 29 '12 at 14:35
  • 1
    I've done this regime for 3 days without feeling sore. I'm just wondering if there are any reasons to have break days, even if I continue to feel fine.
    – Kenshin
    Dec 29 '12 at 14:36
  • Just because the faq does not state something you should still try to make your question as clear as possible. Young and without illness does not say anything about the fitness levels, the weight and other things that might interfere with a program.
    – Baarn
    Dec 29 '12 at 14:37

Your rest days are going to be a result of a number of different factors. There are many many people that can exercise at varying intensities for days on end in a row with no ill effects, but others that absolutely require rest days. The basic trick is getting to know your own body and how it is reacting to the exercise.

To use your example, you are exercising at what I personally would term a fairly light intensity. This is something that could be repeated day after day without ill effect, at least in my personal situation. However, if I upped the ante and added in more distance, or intervals or other high intensity variations, then I might need a rest day here and there.

Unfortunately, as alluded to in the comments, it's very much dependent on your own training, your own adaptation and your own tolerance for fatigue. I can give you the personal guideline that if I head out the door for a workout and within 5ish minutes I just know I'm "not feeling it", I will bag the workout and take a rest day. The best answer you're going to get is "it depends".

  • Thanks Broseph. I knew that rest days were definitely recommended in weight training, but I wasn't sure about Cardio. Your answer is enough, as it implies that rest days aren't required for such light cardio exercises (assuming fit/feeling well enough).
    – Kenshin
    Dec 29 '12 at 14:52
  • @Chris - I didn't say they weren't required. I've been exercising/competing/working out for 40 years, including many years of cross country. FOR ME, that is a light enough exercise I could do it ad infinitum. FOR YOU, it may be a different answer. That's why the best answer you will get is "it depends".
    – JohnP
    Dec 29 '12 at 14:54
  • What does it depend on?
    – Kenshin
    Dec 29 '12 at 14:56
  • 2
    @Chris - You. Your body. How it reacts, how it feels. Nobody can look at you and say "You need a rest day". Pay attention to your own body, how you feel, and if you think you need a rest day, take one.
    – JohnP
    Dec 29 '12 at 14:57

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