Table of Contents
The benefits of working out with the aim of improving your physique and overall health are well documented and whether you undertake resistance training or aerobic exercise, it’s advised to implement some form of training into your week and to do this on a regular basis but should you go to the gym everyday?
Whilst visiting the gym or working out at home frequently is certainly beneficial to mental and physical health, how much exercise you undertake should also be considered in order that too much doesn’t become detrimental to your health.
Can You Go to the Gym Every Day?
Yes, you can workout at the gym on a daily basis. However, whilst exercise is important to stay healthy, so to is allowing time for rest and recovery.
It’s typically recommended to have at least one rest day per week. That being said, recovery time should be dictated by how you train.
If you tend to favour low impact exercise over a short period of time, for example, brisk walking on a treadmill for 30 minutes, then doing this everyday would not be detrimental to your health. In fact, this form of exercise when carried out each day can lead to improved cardiovascular health, a decrease in blood pressure and stronger bones and healthy joints.
Conversely, if your preference is for high-intensity exercise that may involve heavy weights and working all the major muscle groups, you’ll want to avoid doing this each day. Overtraining like this can lead to muscle fatigue which puts you at a higher risk of injury. What’s more, you’ll notice that you come become weaker at the gym and you may experience a drop in your energy levels making everyday tasks feel like a chore.
The American Heart Association recommends that an adult aim for around 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week. This applies to aerobic exercise which is a form of training aimed at increasing your heart rate such as jogging or cycling at a moderate pace. This is beneficial for heart health, decreasing body fat and increasing stamina.
It’s also advisable to incorporate some strength-based workouts using either free weights of resistance gym machines, for example a leg press. This will allow you to improve muscle tone and strength whilst improving health to your joints.
Research has also shown that shorter bursts of exercise performed each day is more beneficial when compared to training for long periods of time and less often, for example 3 times per week.
To reiterate, training every day at the gym can be beneficial but don’t overdo it, it’s never advisable to train hard and heavy every single day. If you’re not an elite level athlete who is more likely to have to push their body to the limits, then daily workouts at the gym where you incorporate light to moderate intensity cardiovascular exercise with some strength-based exercises will do wonders for your body and mind.
The most important thing to consider with daily exercise is to modify your training and not do the same thing each day. Daily physical activity is one of the best ways to improve your general health.
What Are The Benefits of Rest Days
Even though it’s often suggested you should take a day of rest, it’s not always necessary. By switching up the methods and intensity of your physical activity would be sufficient to allow the body to recover.
Does a rest day involve sleeping in late and lying on the sofa for the entire day? Absolutely not! Lying around all day can result in lower back ache, demotivation and you’ll be sending a message to your muscles that you don’t need them, so why bother growing.
However, even if you train every day at a moderate level, every now and again you may want to have a day or two off, and that’s perfectly OK. So, what are the benefits from having a day of rest from your daily workout?
Better For Your Immune System
If you incorporate too much intense exercise into your week, this could suppress the function of your immune system making you more susceptible to certain health conditions. If you feel your body flagging, take a day off and try some yoga or meditation. Not only will these activities boost your immune system they can help to lower stress levels.
If you’re a fan of regular weight training using heavy weights, this can lead to overtraining if you’re not careful. Overtraining can affect the immune system (as stated above) and lead to a decrease in muscle strength. If your training is beginning to suffer, i.e., you can’t run as far or lift as much as you usually would, you could risk burn out. It would be a good idea to take a day to give your body time to recover and prevent over training.
Help Muscles to Repair and Grow
If one of your fitness goals is to work on building muscle and increasing strength, part of this involves lifting heavier weights and increasing those weights over time. Intense strength training can result in DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness). This is when your muscles become sore and inflamed post exercise. If you don’t allow much time for this soreness to dissipate before going back to the heavy weights, not only could you injure yourself you can kiss goodbye to that lean muscle mass. Recovery time post exercise will vary from person to person so it’s important to listen to your body. If you feel physically and mentally ready for another heavy workout, then you should be OK.
Limit the Chance of Injury
As stated above, too much training can put unnecessary strain on the joints and muscles making even daily activities a grind and when your muscles are tired, you run the risk of injury. Again, listen to your body, if you feel tired and your muscles ache, take a break from your usual fitness routine.
What Types of Exercise Can I Do Each Week
So, we’ve already mentioned that it’s OK to go to the gym everyday as long as you switch up the method of training and the intensity so as not to over work your body (and mind). Below we’ve listed the types of exercise you can undertake at the gym and, if you mix them up, you won’t need to worry about overtraining or the downsides that come with it.
Strength Based Workouts
Strength based workouts will involve incorporating a variety of resistance-based exercises using free weights or your bodyweight. For example, shoulder pressing with a pair of dumbbells, press ups or using the leg press. The aim of these workouts is to increase muscle mass and strength and burn calories.
Cardio exercise is a form of aerobic activity with the aim of increasing your heart rate and getting the blood pumping around your body. This form of exercise is fantastic for improving your stamina and fitness levels. It will also help to keep your heart and joints healthy. It’s worth noting that cardio isn’t just limited to running on a treadmill. Taking a brisk walk in the countryside will still constitute as cardio and can be done on your rest day.
Flexibility exercises such as static or dynamic stretching or yoga-based movements are highly beneficial for building a strong and healthy body. By incorporating flexibility exercises into your workouts, you can improve your posture, range of motion, and reduce the likelihood for injuries and other aches and pains. As with cardio, this isn’t limited to just the gym. All you need is an exercise mat and this form of training can be done pretty much anywhere and even on rest days!
Should You Go To The Gym Everyday – Final Thoughts
Getting into the habit of undertaking physical activity every day is hugely advantageous for your physical and mental wellbeing. When it comes to attending the gym every day, whilst it takes a certain amount of dedication, it’s something to consider.
However, keep your workouts versatile in order to avoid over training and burnout. For example, one day could be a strength-based workout focusing on the lower body and the day after could be 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise.
Also, remember that you’re not limited to just the gym when it comes to working out. If you want a break from the atmosphere of the gym, going hiking or swimming in the ocean will all contribute towards your fitness goals, and you get the added benefit of lots of fresh air.