If you’re looking for ways to improve your health, staying active physically is a great goal. Exercise can provide many benefits, from helping you burn calories to improving your mood. As you start working out, it’s normal to have a lot of questions. After all, you want to maximize the results of your workout and avoid hurting yourself.
You may be wondering what types of exercises are good for your goals or how to position your body correctly. One of the most common questions involves your workout schedule. Is it safe to exercise every day, or do you need to give your muscles a break in between workouts?
How Often Can You Work Out?
There’s nothing wrong with working out every day as long as you avoid hurting your body. The Mayo Clinic recommends trying to get 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day. Working out is a good way to stay active.
The benefits of exercise are often cumulative. In other words, you can see results even if you can’t squeeze a huge session into your day all at once. Instead, some people exercise for 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes at night. Office workers may go for a brisk walk over their lunch break and wait for the evening for a conventional exercise session at the gym.
What Does Muscle Soreness Mean?
The key to working out safely every day is to listen to your body. You shouldn’t start too intensely at the beginning. Give your body time to adjust to new exercises before ramping up the intensity.
It’s also important to learn what helps sore muscles after a workout. There are several types of muscle soreness, from the short-term burn that means you did a good job to the delayed-onset soreness that signals you’re building new muscles. Different techniques help you recover faster from soreness, including increasing your protein intake and resting adequately at night.
Sharp aches and pains are in a different category. Muscle soreness is normal, and is generally a good thing. Pain is always a bad thing. It means that you’ve pushed too far and probably hurt yourself. If this happens, you need to give yourself plenty of time to recover. Don’t exercise with an injured tendon or torn ligament. You may need a doctor’s help to recover fully.
How Can You Avoid Hurting Yourself?
The good news is that avoiding injuries when working out every day isn’t complicated. It mainly requires following a few common-sense guidelines:
- Warm up first: Take a few minutes to stretch properly before really getting into it. This warms up your muscles for activity and loosens you up.
- Start small: Don’t try to work out like a pro during your first sessions. Stick to small rep counts, such as six or eight repetitions. As time goes on, you can scale up with more reps and sets.
- Focus on sets: If you feel like you still have energy to give, it’s easier to add more sets to the mix instead of pushing too hard for reps. That way, you get a nice burn but avoid pushing your muscles too far.
- Stop if you’re uncomfortable: If a certain position doesn’t feel right for your body, don’t insist. Trust your body. Look up more info on the exercise online. You may be putting your weight incorrectly or your back muscles may not be ready to handle that type of position yet.
Which Exercises Should You Do Each Day?
The type of exercise you choose depends on whether you’re looking to build muscle or burn calories. Resistance training exercises, such as free weight lifts, push-ups and squats, build new muscles. They require alternating days so your legs or core muscles have a chance to recover.
On the other hand, aerobic exercises are fine for working out every day. You can use an exercise bike, swim or perform aerobics programs daily without problems. Of course, if certain muscles still feel sore from yesterday, you can prioritize a different group of muscles.