One of the most effective things you can do to be fit, stay in shape and feel great, is to adopt a regular workout routine and make exercise a part of your daily life.
So, does “daily life” mean every day? Most experts say you need to take breaks for rest and recovery. But some people run or do morning calisthenics every day…what’s best?
When planning your workout routine, it’s a good idea to settle on a schedule—what exercise will you do, when, and for how long, to meet your goals? Maybe you’ve wondered how much exercise you actually need, and if there is an ideal way to map out your activities. Does it make a difference when your workout includes cardio, strength training or sports activities?
The short answer is: it depends.
A daily workout seems like it should be a smart choice—doctors want us to exercise every day, right? Well, sort of. If you’re talking about going for brisk walk, digging in the garden and doing some light stretching, yes. Every day is a great idea. But getting in your 10,000 steps takes a different toll on your body than other heartier workout routines.
Workout Tips for Strength Training
You’ll definitely need to rest your muscles for at least a day in between workouts so they can repair themselves (and those repairs make them stronger). But that doesn’t mean you have to limit your gym time to three days a week. You can alter the muscle groups you’re exercising each day, in order to rest the parts of the body you worked yesterday. For example, alternate upper body with lower body.
Workout Tips for Cardio Workouts
You can benefit from more frequent workouts if you are careful to monitor the wear and tear on your body. And you can boost your progress if you add some variety into your schedule. You might run more miles one day and tackle some hills on the next. Alternating your treadmill time with stairs and a something like a kickboxing class is another way to prevent overuse injuries, fatigue or boredom with your workout routine.
Workout Tips for Sporting Activities
If you’re trying to advance your skills, you’re likely in a regular practice schedule. In season, that could definitely mean daily. Taking to the basketball court or driving range for practice time each day is one way to evolve your game. But for the novice participant, that sort of functional activity should be built up gradually. In fact, even the pros need to schedule in light days and rest days, to optimize their performance and protect their health.
Workout Routine Reprieve
A day of rest is a good idea for all of us. Taking off one day a week from all planned exercise is not only great for letting your body recover from head to toe, but also for your motivation and outlook. Physically, you stand to gain a lot from regular exercise. Mentally, too—your body systems tend to operate on a healthier level overall when you are active. But burn out is also real…and so is monotony.
So even when you’re at the top of your game, consider clearing one day a week for other wellness activities, like getting some fresh air and sunshine, catching up on your reading, or making healthy meals ahead of time to pack for work. You’ll feel better inside and out!
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