Doing cardio is an excellent way to burn calories and reduce your body fat. And on occasion, I’ll do a couple of workouts on the same day. But I don’t really focus on doing just cardio twice a day. If I’m going to do a double workout on the same day, it usually consists of cardio and weights. But I can see how some people can wonder, can you do cardio twice a day?
Doing cardio twice a day is usually pursued in hopes of burning through even more calories compared to doing cardio just once a day. And it makes sense.
Yes, you can do cardio twice a day, but unless you have unlimited cartilage in your body and you don’t have any issues with aches and pains, it might be wise to alter your cardio a bit. Doing a run in the morning and then doing a rowing machine or elliptical might help your body preserve itself.
The biggest thing you need to do is listen to your body. If you start to feel achy joints and it seems like you’re wearing your body into the ground, you might have to switch it up a bit. I know there’s the saying, “no pain, no gain,” but when it comes to having a working body into your senior years, it’s best to lend your body an ear.
I personally can’t run twice a day for more than a day or two without a bit of hip joint. This is why I suggest alternating in some lower intensity cardio like swimming, elliptical, or even a stair stepper. It allows you to maintain that twice-a-day cardio while limiting the stress on your body.
I have several physical therapist (PT) friends and they’ve openly told me that many people don’t actually need to see a PT. Commonly, people come in and explain their pain, and the advice is to always throttle back on whatever is causing the pain. Not exactly brain-busting advice, but people seem to take comfort in a PT telling them, what they already know.
The issue is, that people always don’t take the time necessary to fully heal or reduce whatever is causing the inflammation. For example, a PT may suggest taking 2-3 weeks off, but people start to feel a little better and take that as a sign they can go full bore again. When in fact, they should let the body heal more completely.
I can relate to wanting to get back into a full exercise routine, but again you really need to listen to your body, and if whatever pain you’re having seems to come right back, you need to take a longer break. It sucks to hear, but that’s what my PT friends tell me. Free of charge of course.
So now that we discussed some of the pains of doing cardio twice a day, let’s discuss more why it’s such a good thing to help you lose weight.
Benefits of Cardio Twice a Day
Rev-Up That Metabolism
Doing a morning session of cardio is a great way to get that metabolism going. The more exercise or cardio you’re able to do during the day will translate to burning more calories. And if possible, it’s best to split that exercise into a couple of different sessions.
One long cardio session is great, but if you do this in the morning, your metabolism can start to wane later in the day. A morning session and a late afternoon session will amp up that metabolism as it’s starting to wind down and provide you the fat burning you may need to reach your goals.
Keeping Intensity Up
Cardio is usually a slower burn without many spikes in intensity. But as your cardio session goes on, the level of commitment and intensity usually drops over time. I personally only run about 3-4 miles and when I get to about mile 3 my drive and speed start to slow down and my desire to keep going dwindles too.
If my goal is to get an hour of cardio in a day, my drive will start to drop after about 30 minutes and I might not be able to hit my goal of an hour of cardio. However, if I split it up into two 30-minute sessions, my chances of success are significantly higher. And I don’t have to worry about my intensity level dropping nearly as much as if I tried to do one hour straight.
You might be different. Maybe you can do as much cardio as you want without your drive and intensity dropping, but this is another reason I’ll break up my cardio into twice daily vs one long cardio session.
Can I Do the Same Cardio Everyday?
Yes, you can do the same cardio every day but you might not achieve the results you want as quickly. The body is pretty smart and it adapts quickly. It will do the exercise you choose using the least amount of energy possible. And over time, if you do the same cardio every day, it will get more efficient, meaning burning fewer calories to achieve the same result.
By doing something different, the body will work harder, therefore, burning more calories. Plus, doing the same workout every day can get boring. Unless you really love the workout you’re doing, it’s likely you’ll get bored with it, and stop.
This brings me to another point. Do something you like to do!
Some people despise running and will only do it if a rabid dog is chasing them (okay maybe not that bad) while others get a kick out of running. If you choose something you enjoy, you’re significantly more likely to stick with it. Also, if you can pick a couple of different things, you’ll not only enjoy the activities, but you’ll probably do them much longer. If you hate running, the chances of you maintaining a running routine are slim. But if you love to swim, find a pool and swim until your heart is content.
How to Find Time for Twice a Day?
People are busy. We have jobs, families, obligations, school, and a million other things pulling us in different directions and they all need time commitments. Sometimes getting one workout session is all you can fit into your day. And take pride in that.
Sometimes that’s all you can do, and that’s great. For me, a morning session before anyone is up is a great time to get a workout in. Before the day begins and before the “fires” start, setting aside time first thing works great for me. When it’s nice outside I can do a quick 30-minute session.
I try to avoid hitting a gym or class in the morning because this will require driving to and from and this just eats up more time. A few miles around the neighborhood works great.
Post work is another time I’m able to fit in another 30-45 minutes.
I try to meal prep as much as possible so I can still eat a healthy meal without pushing my dinner time too far out. So fitting a second workout after work and before dinner works great for me. Others like to do a lunch session. Many friends pack a lunch and do a workout during an hour lunch break. Find a schedule that works for you, and stick with it.
Types of Cardio Exercise
As I mentioned finding something you enjoy will be best. But if you’re just getting started it might be hard to find something you like. Below is a shortlist of cardio workouts that you can mix and match until you find the right routine for you.
Running – this is a no-brainer. You can run outside, you can run on a treadmill, you can run on a track, around your neighborhood or anywhere you get the most pleasure from running. A softer surface can help prevent injury and will help maintain your body. Treadmills at your local gym usually provide a bit of give if you prefer to run inside. On average you burn about 12-15 calories per minute running. This depends on the person’s weight, intensity, and overall health.
Swimming – swimming is a great low-impact cardio session. A lot of people underestimate how hard it is to swim consistently. If you love to burn calories swimming, you can expect to burn about 6-10 calories per minute. Again, this will depend on several factors.
Walking – walking is a fantastic way to get started on your fitness journey. And it doesn’t take much. Doing 2-3 walks a day at a brisk speed (3.5 mph) is enough to get the heart pumping and is easy on the joints. I can walk close to a mile during a short 15-minute break. I do this once in the morning and then again in the afternoon. Honestly, I do this for the exercise and just to get outside. Walking is a great stepping stone to higher intensity activities that will burn even more calories.
Rowing – rowing machines are great at building muscle and cardio. It’s low impact easy to do and is kind of meditative. Maybe it’s just me, but the constant rhythm of a rowing machine is great for the mind and the body. You can expect to burn up to 500 calories per hour if you’re really going at it. Again, the number is going to vary with a multitude of factors.
Conclusion of Cardio Twice a Day
If you’re looking to turn your body into a calorie burning furnace doing cardio twice a day might be the ticket. It’s important to choose something you enjoy and be sure you’re not overdoing it. Injury will only delay any gains you’ve made and is a motivation killer. If you’re body is telling you to slow down, than it’s best to reduce your exertion.