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Should You Exercise More Than Once a Day?

by
author image Andrea Cespedes
Andrea Cespedes is a professionally trained chef who has focused studies in nutrition. With more than 20 years of experience in the fitness industry, she coaches cycling and running and teaches Pilates and yoga. She is an American Council on Exercise-certified personal trainer, RYT-200 and has degrees from Princeton and Columbia University.
Should You Exercise More Than Once a Day?
If a second workout leaves you wiped, it's probably too much. Photo Credit George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Exercising more than once a day can help you fit in all you need to stay healthy -- but, you can get too much of a good thing. When exercising more than once a day means excessive hours of activity, missing social engagements or causes erratic eating behavior, you may be exercising compulsively. Doing more than one workout daily can help you achieve certain goals, but it isn't a requirement for fitness.

What You Need

A complete weekly fitness program, advises the American College of Sports Medicine, includes at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio exercise, two total-body strength-training sessions and flexibility work. You should also fit in 20 to 30 minutes of neuromuscular, or balance and coordination exercises, work daily. Fitting all this in with just one workout session per day can be challenging, especially if you are juggling home life, a job, a semblance of a social life and general life obligations.

Just Getting By

You can piece together the recommended 150 minutes of cardio per week in multiple, shorter sessions of 10 minutes or longer, ACSM notes. Your strength training, flexibility and neuromuscular training don't all have to happen at the same workout either. You should exercise more than once a day if it helps you meet all the recommendations. For example, you could walk briskly 10 minutes after breakfast, before lunch and right after work to meet your daily cardio needs. Another way to break up your workouts is to do a strength-training workout in the morning and a yoga workout for neuromuscular training in the evening.

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Super Goals

When you have ambitious goals, such as running an ultra marathon or a long-distance triathlon, twice-a-day workouts may become the norm. Triathletes need to train in three sports, sometimes for several hours. Long-distance runners also must train for hours to cover all their training miles. These athletes should break up their workouts into two or more daily sessions, fit among other life obligations. Training more than once a day also permits more recovery between workouts so each one can be of the highest quality. Competitive athletes who play sports may also have double practices a day to work on different skills. Working out twice per day isn't a year-round practice, though. Trainers schedule recovery periods so that athletes can attain crucial rest for their bodies.

Twice Isn't Always Nice

If you feel that working out two times per day is the only way to burn extra calories or to stay in shape, you may be compulsively exercising. Forcing yourself to exercise through illness, injury or fatigue is another indication that you are overdoing your workouts and that twice a day is too much. When you feel compelled to work out twice a day and experience anxiety when you don't, you are exhibiting warning signs that your habits are unhealthy. Besides affecting your social and family life, compulsive exercise can impair your health and lead to injury.

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