The American College of Sports Medicine recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity cardiovascular exercise per week to improve your health. How you divide that time throughout the week depends on your schedule, your level of fitness and your personal preference. While many people find it hard to find time to exercise even once per day, there are several benefits to doing two cardiovascular workouts per day.
One advantage of twice-per-day cardiovascular workouts is that you burn additional calories. You need to burn 3,500 calories to lose 1 pound. Doing a 30-minute walk in the morning burns about 160 calories. At that rate, it would take nearly 22 days to lose 1 pound. But add in an additional 30-minute walk at night and you cut that time in half. Or, consider a more intense activity. Perhaps you want to run but are only able to run for 20 minutes without stopping. In 20 minutes you would burn 220 calories. Adding a second run or even a walk later in the day would greatly speed up your weight loss.
Improve Your Health
Cardiovascular exercise offers many health benefits. Aerobic training can help to decrease body weight and fat, decrease cholesterol and blood pressure, increase "good" cholesterol and improve insulin sensitivity. Exercise is additive, meaning doing small bouts over the course of the day is equivalent to one long workout. Working out twice per day will allow you to improve your health faster than you would with only one workout per day.
If you struggle to find time to fit in a workout, dividing it up into two segments may be a better option. Rather than trying to find a whole hour to work out, you could do a 30-minute workout when you wake up and another 30 minutes after work. Not only will it be easier to fit into your daily schedule, but it may also offer a chance to try a higher intensity for one workout since it will be shorter than normal. No matter how you decide to divide your workout time throughout the day, make sure each bout of exercise is at least 10 minutes long to experience all of the health benefits cardiovascular exercise has to offer.
Most early-morning exercisers feel energized after their workout and that energy carries them through a good portion of their day. Doing two cardio workouts a day is a great way to wake up your body and feel more energetic. An early workout will help you wake up and prepare for the day. An early evening workout will help free you from the stress of the day. Before starting any exercise program, you should always consult with your physician.
- American College of Sports Medicine: ACSM Issues New Recommendations on Quantity and Quality of Exercise
- American Heart Association: Losing Weight
- American College of Sports Medicine: Exercise for Persons with Cardiovascular Disease
- Fitness and Sports Medicine: A Health-Related Approach; David C. Nieman
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: How Much Physical Activity Do Adults Need?