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Exercise A Little Bit Every Day, Instead Of Exercising A Lot A Few Times A Week

When it comes to exercise, focus on how often you do it (frequency), and not how much (volume), say experts.

Written by Longjam Dineshwori |Updated : August 17, 2022 1:25 PM IST

Exercise is important, but do not push yourself too hard or overdo it. Just make sure you do a little bit of physical activity every day. Because experts say it's how often you exercise that is important, and not how long you work out in a day or a week.

When it comes to exercise, doing a bit every day is better than a lot a few times a week, concluded a new study from Edith Cowan University (ECU). Also, it suggested that you don't have to work too hard every day.

According to the researchers, doing a little bit of daily activity is particularly beneficial for improving muscle strength. ECU conducted the study in collaboration with Niigata University and Nishi Kyushu University in Japan.

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Best way to boost your muscle strength

In this study, the participants were trained to perform an arm resistance exercise consisting of 'maximal voluntary eccentric bicep contractions' performed on a machine for four weeks. This is like lowering a heavy dumbbell in a bicep curl, the authors stated.

The participants were divided into three different groups: two groups performed 30 contractions per week (6 contractions a day for 5 days a week or 30 contractions in a single day) and one group performed six contractions one day a week. The researchers then measured and compared the changes in their muscle strength and muscle thickness.

Although participants who performed 30 contractions in a single day experienced increase in muscle thickness by 5.8 per cent after four weeks, there was no changes in their muscle strength. Those doing six contractions once a week didn't experience any improvement in muscle strength and muscle thickness.

But the 6x5 group (six contractions daily for five days a week) showed significant improvement in muscle strength as well as muscle thickness.

While only the bicep curl exercise was used in the study, the researchers believe that this strategy of focusing on frequency, and not volume would work for other muscles as well.

Why you need to work on your muscle strength?

According to the researchers, having a good muscle strength could help prevent loss of muscle mass as we grow older. They pointed out that decrease in muscle mass can lead to many serious diseases such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, dementia, osteoporosis, etc.

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