Two-a-day workouts used to be reserved for athletes and bodybuilders. But recently, the concept of working out twice in one day has gone mainstream. And while doubling down on fitness has its benefits, gym sessions takes time from your day, and if you're already struggling to fit in one workout, two can feel impossible.
That can make it difficult for those with busy schedules to fit in enough time for physical activity. If you have the time, however, here are some of the benefits of working out twice a day.
Extra Calorie Burn
Exercising twice a day allows you to increase the amount of calories you burn by increasing the amount of exercise being performed. The longer you exercise, the more calories you burn. Of course, this benefit only occurs when you increase the amount of time being exercised, not when you are just dividing the amount of time you exercise already in half.
When you exercise, you increase the amount of calories you burn per hour, even in the hours after you have finished exercising. This is often referred to as exercise after-burn, or excess post-exercise oxygen consumption. When you exercise, many changes in your body affect homeostasis, or the balance of the body.
For example, your heart rate increases, your oxygen needs increase and your temperature changes. It takes energy for your body to return balance after exercise, and with energy use comes more calories burned. Energy also is needed to heal muscle damage, build muscle fibers, and build bone mineral density, all of which can continue after exercise.
As balance is restored, you return to your basal metabolic rate, or the rate of calorie burning needed for just basic functions such as your heartbeat or breathing. When you split your exercise routine in two, you get the benefit of two exercise after-burn time periods instead of one.
The Convenience Factor
Exercising twice a day also can help with weight loss because of an increase in convenience. If it's difficult to fit in 30 minutes of exercise all at once in your schedule, you may only settle for 20 minutes if that's all you can spare at once.
However, if you have 15 minutes free in the morning, and 15 minutes free at night, you increase your exercise, along with your calories burned, by 10 minutes, which increases your overall weight loss.
Recommendations for Two-a-Days
When choosing how much exercise to perform at both of the set apart times, it's important to keep in mind the healthy exercise recommendations from organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American College of Sports Medicine.
Both organizations suggest that all adults get at least 150 minutes of exercise each week, which can be increased to 300 minutes per week for even greater results. This comes out to two 15-minute sessions, five days a week, or two 30-minute sessions five days a week depending on your exercise goals. These goals can be adjusted to fit your specific health needs and schedule.
Before starting any new exercise routine, talk to your doctor to ensure you are healthy enough for the physical activities you have planned.