Woman tired after a hard workout

Everyone is busy these days, which is why many people try and cram in their exercise into the weekend.

However, a recent report has indicated that this might be counterproductive, as pushing your body too much in short stints could put themselves under excess strain, reported the Daily Mail.

Dr Federico Formenti from King’s College London conducted a study of nine cyclists, ranging from unfit people to triathletes, which was published in the International Journal of Sports Medicine.

It showed that pedalling at a faster rate – to make up for a lack of fitness during the working week – meant extra strain was put on their heart rate, breathing and energy levels.

He said: “The main message of this study is for amateur cyclists not to force themselves beyond what feels natural.”

Dr Formenti, a psychologist and sports scientist, added: “In most cases, the cyclists you see wobbling on the bicycle seats, spinning their legs very rapidly, have reached the level where they are just wasting energy.”

The scientists measured the heart rates and oxygen levels of those participating in the study, who pedalled at a rate of between 40 and 90 times a minute. The findings showed when pedalling increased to 90 times a minute, power exerted was 45 per cent weaker, and heart rates typically rose by 15 per cent.

Those who are experienced in cycling are much more efficient with their pedalling and have trained their muscles to pedal fast without losing control.

Instead of hitting the gym or cycling for long periods of time over the weekend, it is better to be active daily. The NHS advises people to do 150 minutes of physical activity every week, averaging 30 minutes a day.

One of the best ways to get fit is to use a personal training coach online, tailoring your exercise programme to your needs and abilities.