This is the magic number of times you need to work out per week

Personal trainer spills the the ‘magic’ number of times you need to work out per week to sculpt your dream body – and you’ll be surprised

  • Rachael Attard said you only need to work out three times a week for 30 minutes
  • She used to slug it at the gym for an hour or more six times a week in vain

A personal trainer has shared why 30 minutes three or four times a week is the ‘magic’ number of workouts you should do each week for a toned body – and why any longer than this is just a waste of time.

Rachael Attard, from Sydney, said she used to ‘go to the gym for an hour or more six days a week’, and favoured ‘super intense workouts’ and hard sessions.

But while she worked out ‘harder than anybody I knew, I didn’t look like it’.

She has since discovered that a more gentle and balanced approach to exercise is far better for staying in shape. 

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Rachael Attard (pictured) from Sydney said you only need to work out three or four times a week for 30 minutes in order to see results at the gym

These days, Rachael favours Pilates, yoga, short (high intensity interval training) sessions and light weights.

She also doesn’t work out more than five times each week. 

‘Overtraining, plus high stress from work, lack of sleep and no down time didn’t do my body any favours,’ Rachael recalled. 

‘Now, I really only work out for 30 minutes three or four times per week, plus I try to walk as much as I can, and I have never been in better shape.

‘I also have so much more energy,’ she added.

Rachael (pictured working out) said she used to slog away at the gym for an hour or more a day, but now favours body weight movements and gentle exercise like Pilates and yoga

The PT advised her followers that they don’t need to work out ‘like crazy’ in order to get results. 

 Instead, it’s far more important that you focus on the ‘right type of workouts’.

Some of her favourite movements include the plank – which is a full-body move – and mountain climbers – both of which need zero equipment.

Rachael is also a huge fan of walking for the benefits it has for both your mind and your body.

Previously, the PT shared the five simple ways you can re-balance your hormones in order to have your healthiest year yet.

1. Get eight hours of sleep 

The first thing Rachael said is key for re-balancing your hormones is focusing on getting good quality shut-eye as many nights as possible.

The personal trainer recommends eight hours, but said anywhere between seven and nine should allow your body to restore lost muscle fibres and replenish itself for the day ahead.

‘A lack of sleep leads to increased snacking and a slower metabolism,’ Rachael said.

‘But worse than this, it has a direct impact on two weight loss hormones: ghrelin and leptin.

‘Ghrelin sends signals to the brain, telling us when it’s time to eat. Leptin tells the brain that you’re full. 

‘When we’re sleep deprived, the body produces more ghrelin and less leptin. As a result, we might eat more than we should because we will feel hungrier.’  

The PT recommends setting a sleep schedule and switching off from technology at a similar time every night to make sure you get the required shut-eye.

You could also take a warm shower about an hour before bed to get in the mood for sleep and sip on a chamomile tea to calm your central nervous system. 

Rachael (transformation from her weight loss program pictured) said the most important things to do with regards to weight loss is to get on top of sleep and your gut health

2. Work on your gut health

The second thing Rachael said you should think about if you want to re-balance your hormones is your gut health.

Rachael listed the signs of a healthy gut including eating any food without feeling gassy, bloating or having issues with bowels movements.

The PT recommends taking probiotics and supplements for good gut health but said the quality of the products matter. 

‘To find a good probiotic, I recommended one with at least 10 strains of bacteria, at least 30 billion CFU (or more) and one that has the number and letters posted after each probiotic strain,’ she said. 

She also said it’s key to make sure you get some down time, ‘even if it’s just for 10 minutes a day’ as well as finding something to calm you don’t if you’re feeling stressed. 

3. Eat less sugar 

In a similar vein to working on your gut health, Rachael said consuming less sugar will automatically put your hormones in better shape. 

She aims for as little processed sugar as possible, and instead only has sugar via fruit – which is a more natural alternative.

‘The easiest way to cut out sugar is to make an effort each week to cut out the sugar from one meal at a time,’ Rachael said.

‘For example, if you usually eat cereal for breakfast, have a healthy smoothie, oats or a piece of whole meal toast with an omelette. Keep your other meals the same as usual and just implement these changes one by one.’

The PT said that by doing things this way, you will slowly and gradually cut out the sugar, until you reach a point when you don’t even notice you’re no longer eating it.

Rachael (pictured) recommends that people with imbalanced hormones flood their diets with healthy fats – which can be found in avocado, extra Virgin olive oil, nuts, seeds and oily fish

4. Eat more healthy fat

Instead of sugar, Rachael recommends that people with imbalanced hormones flood their diets with healthy fats – which can be found in the likes of avocado, extra Virgin olive oil, nuts, seeds and oily fish.

‘Good fats are essential for numerous health reasons, such as cell growth, hormone production and making the absorption of some vitamins (A, D, E & K) possible,’ Rachael said.

‘Good fats are also an excellent energy source, that leaves you feeling satiated for an extended period of time.’

5. Reduce stress

Finally – and most importantly – Rachael said the main key to rebalancing your hormones is reducing your overall stress load, and the stress on your body.

‘Stress isn’t just mental,’ she said.

‘There are lots of other factors that are stressful on your body – including being constantly busy and not having any down time, overtraining, binge eating, travel, emotional issues, being a perfectionist and having gut issues.’

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