I am not sure frequency within a day really matters that much provided it is the right amount of activity for you overall. For example, some people count walking and cycling moderately as their workout, and some people will walk or cycle to work and back daily and exercise. I suppose technically you could say those people are "exercising" three times a day which would seem excessive if they were going to the gym three times a day. Sometimes in gyms, I see people working at an intensity that I would describe as light to moderate exercise i.e. peddling slowly while reading a book and not breaking a visible sweat. I think the more important considerations are whether you are getting enough challenging aerobic and strength exercises that will improve your fitness, and whether you are allowing yourself enough time to recover from your workouts. To me, two 20 minute workouts vs one 40 minute workout--well it's kind of the same thing and really whatever works for you. I have sometimes done two or sometimes more intentional "workouts" in a day that lasted an hour or so each. Sometimes it was too much, sometimes not. When it wasn't--one of the activities was usually pretty light i.e. a yoga class, golf, a dance technique class or walking. At that time, I liked doing those but didn't consider them intense enough to count as my only workout. So I did them in addition to fitness building exercise. I don't see that as any different from walking or cycling to work (which I also did), doing household chores, or other light to moderate activity. And I see people in the gyms doing cardio at a similar intensity, so they might be fine to double up on workouts if they want. What I would not do--two vigorous workouts in the same day that last say 45 minutes or longer each. I might if I only had three days to exercise that were open ended in schedule do a cardio workout in the morning and strength in the evening (or the reverse). But I wouldn't do that daily and would prefer to spread the workouts into 6 workouts once a day rather than 3 twice a day. I don't think there is an absolute provided you are not overdoing it. Starting out it can be easier to build activity doing multiple shorter sessions in a day. I wouldn't want to do vigorous workouts that require me to shower more than once a day just for convenience though.
I usually exercise twice a day. I often take a bike ride in the morning and then go for a walk later on in the day. I go in the morning and try do at least 20-30 minutes. Then later on I try to meet my goal of 40 minutes per day; it means I 'only need to walk for 10 minutes' or so but I often enjoy the walk and do more.
I usually exercise once a day--partly because I don't want to have to shower and clean up more often! I sweat a lot.
But, once it gets nice enough to walk outside (will it ever, this winter?) then I sometimes add a nice walk, but if I've exercised hard earlier, the walk is more for pleasure, not heart-pounding fitness.
If I am doing my walking for fitness, which I sometimes do in decent weather, I step it up; walk faster, maybe add some running intervals, hills, etc.
But, I think you should do what works best for you. If you are quite overweight, two shorter exercise segments may be how you need to start out, until you are in better shape and can do more.
When it comes to gaining or losing weight, what matters most is what we eat. Good nutrition is what takes the weight off and keeps it off. Exercise is what keeps our bodies fit. In short, you can't outrun a bad diet with exercise. If a person wants to lose weight, they have to eat right and watch their portions.
If a person wants to be fit, they exercise. What to do for exercise depends on what your fitness goals are. You don't have to exercise an hour plus every day to be fit. The reason so many health experts are suggesting that a person work out 60+ minutes is because Americans have become very sedentary. There was a time, not that long ago, when we more active. Not so much these days. That's why experts are trying to encourage people to be more active. it's because we have become so sedentary.
You don't have to workout twice a day to be fit, but if you prefer working out twice a day for 15 minutes instead of working out for 30 minutes. That's okay. You can break your workouts up into shorter segments and still get all the health benefits.
What will you do on a regular basis ? If working out twice a day works for you, then that's what matters. Exercise should be fun because when we enjoy doing something, we look forward to doing that something each and every day.
I go for one session a day (with the exception of evening yoga classes) because I work so hard when I exercise (especially strength training) that I am not physically capable of working out again that day.
But as Russell said, don't stress about the details. Find something that works for you and that you can stick with for the long term.
Weight loss and fitness will happen at the same time, especially with cardio.
The benefit of 2 shorter sessions, is that you can work out harder for 30 minutes twice a day, than you can for 1 hour. So if total calories, or stress on the muscles is desired, then 2 sessions might be better for you.
If you just want to lose some weight, and breathe better, one session might be better, so you get it done, and go on about your day. It really is about preference. I would hate to have to go back to the gym, or go back out for a run, or a walk. So unless, I take a walk in the morning, and play basketball with friends at night, I tend to get it all done at once.
Just do your 45-60 mins of exercise, whatever way you like, and by burning calories, you will lose weight, as long as diet is right. If you do 2 sessions in a day.. maybe switch up the exercise. That helps with boredom, and works different muscles.
Other than that, I think you are worrying a bit too much about the details. Just move more. The details can come later. Think of yourself as a sculpture. At the start, your goal is to hack of huge chunks without any concern. Near the end is when you will need a fine scalpel to do the details. By then, you will probably also have answers to a lot of the questions, and have a plan for how to take care of these small details.
"We can't solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them "
- Albert Einstein
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.”
Again, I am most definitely fat. I remember from a video a very long time ago, it depended on whether you are fit or fat as to whether it is better to do two shorter exercise sessions or one longer one.
I have tried a 20-30 minute session in the morning with another one in the afternoon. I now do just one 40-45 minute session in the early afternoon.
The SparkFitness tracker treats two sessions as one longer one, adding the minutes together.
Which is best for weight loss and which is best for fitness AND why?
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