When we think about exercise, we usually take the approach that more is better. After all, the more you workout, the more calories you burn. But could working out every day be a bad thing? We went to top fitness experts to help figure it out.
“It’s not bad to workout every day as long as the workouts are varied in type and intensity,” says Marina del Rey, CA, Equinox personal trainer Erin Pugliese. “For example, I wouldn’t recommend intense, heavy weight training on the same muscle groups every single day, but weight training targeting different muscle groups on some days intermixed with yoga or cardio-focused days throughout the week would be fine.”
A good goal to aim for is to get in at least 30 to 40 minutes each day for five days a week. For a well-balanced fitness regimen, go for three days of weight training and three days of cardio. It’s important to get that weight training in because as you develop more lean muscle mass, you’re able to burn more calories on a regular basis. Plus, you’ll also reduce your risk of injury.
However, the duration of your workout also depends on the type and intensity of the exercise you do. “A high-intensity circuit training class that incorporates fast-paced exercises and light weightlifting with little rest interval can be a very effective workout in 30 minutes,” says Pugliese. “If you were to leisurely walk or jog on a treadmill, you would want to spend closer to an hour or more to burn a descent amount of calories.”
Don’t forget to add in a day of rest too! “Overtraining can cause plateauing,” says Indo-Row creator Josh Crosby. A plateau occurs when your body adapts to a particular workout causing you to stop seeing results—a nightmare when you’re trying to lose weight. It’s important to allow a day for your body and muscles to recover from whatever workout you’re doing.
To see the best results, you want to mix it up. “Putting your body through different movement patterns will give your mind and muscles some variety to keep things exciting,” says Crosby. Change up your workout throughout the week by switching between fun activities like hiking, swimming, rowing, running and different plyometric exercises.