Certain kinds of exercises can wear down your muscles and aren’t good for you to do too often. Weightlifting is certainly one of those, where doing it every day is not recommended. What about cardiovascular exercises, though? Should I do cardio everyday?
If you’re starting a cardio program or you’re looking to extend the cardio program you’re already on, you may be concerned about the damage it can cause if you do it too often. Should you be concerned about overdoing it with cardio or doing cardio exercises too frequently?
Let’s talk about it, so I can dispel some of the misconceptions and answer some of the questions you may have about how often is too often and if there’s an upper limit for cardio exercises.
How Much Cardio Should I Do Everyday?
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) recommends that you do about 150 minutes of moderate intensity cardio activity each week, if you’re 18 years old. As an alternative, they recommend 75 minutes of high intensity activity each week.
Now, you can spread this out over a few days, doing your workout just three days a week or five days a week if you like. You could also combine these two recommendations and mix up the high intensity and medium intensity exercises to make a more varied workout regimen.
Another recommendation I want to share with you is from the World Health Organization. The WHO recommends you do cardio exercises for at least 10 minutes apiece. This way, you can get some decent benefits from the exercise. Doing the exercise for less than that robs you of some of the benefits it should be providing. Elevating your heart rate for more than a few minutes for at least for 10 minutes at a time does wonders for your heart. It helps to improve your heart strength and longevity over time.
You can break up your high intensity and medium intensity workouts, spreading them out over several days or mixing them up in single sessions. There’s a lot of ways to change around how you work out and give yourself something interesting to do. It’s important, however, that you keep yourself motivated and interested in what you’re doing.
How Much Cardio Is Too Much?
Let’s discuss now this idea that it may be possible to do too much cardio activity. There’s actually no upper limit on cardio exercises, whether you’re looking at daily or weekly workouts. That means that as long as you’re comfortable working out every single day, you can do that with cardio exercise. You’re not in danger of damaging muscles, as long as you’re paying attention to your body’s pain signals.
You should be careful, however, about overdoing it and wearing yourself out. It’s definitely possible to burn yourself out and get overtired because you’re working out too often or for too long. There’s nothing wrong with setting aside a day or two during the week to not do cardio and just give yourself a break. This gives yourself time to recover and rest up so that you are energized for your other workout sessions.
Wouldn’t it be better to have plenty of energy for your workout sessions rather than to try to sludge through them just to meet a quota you set for yourself that’s frankly impossible?
The harder you push yourself past your normal limits and try to keep going when your body is telling you to stop, the higher your risk of injury. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to what your body is telling you. Take a break when you need to, even if that break is an entire day or two.
Should I Do Cardio Everyday to Lose Weight?
You may be wondering if it’s okay to make an exception to these guidelines I’ve given you if you’re trying to lose weight. You certainly want to try to work out more than normal and up your activity levels if you’re trying to lose weight. However, you still want to pay attention to what your body is trying to tell you. If it’s in pain or needs a break, then you need to rest.
Should I do cardio everyday when cutting? You can do cardio every day, but you may want to limit it to 10 or 15 minutes a day rather than trying to push yourself for 45 minutes or an hour. You could end up burning out and needing a longer recovery period if you push yourself too hard.
Like I said, you can also put yourself at risk of injury if you’re not being careful. By overtiring yourself and overexerting your body, you may start to lose focus and will be more likely to fall, slip, or pull a muscle.
I wouldn’t exercise every day, and I don’t recommend it for most people for the very reason I don’t do it. I feel like I need a break sometimes so that I’m not all about exercise every day, I’m going to lose my motivation. If you don’t take time off from working out every once in a while, it’s going to feel like a chore.
The same way you get burnt out from your job sometimes, you can get burnt out from exercising just by doing it too often. You may feel like you need to clock into your exercise routine and may feel relief when it’s finally over.
While you may be looking for how you can burn fat more efficiently and how you can reach your goals faster, you may be tempted to workout extra. However, you could be really stretching your concentration. It’s good to take a break every so often, so pay attention to how you’re feeling and what your motivation is like. If you feel the motivation slipping, then it may be time for a little break.
Recovery Is Important
I want to circle back around to the question of whether you should be working out every day in order to lose weight. It’s probably not a good idea to do cardio each and every day if you’re trying to burn fat.
The reason for this is that your body needs time to rest and to recover from your workouts. Cardio can be tough on your body, and if you’re not giving yourself time to rest, you won’t be able to lose fat like you want to. Your exercise routines are going to get sluggish and sloppy. And you’re not going to have the high level of performance that you want to have.
As your performance starts to slip, your results will slip as well, and you’ll see less weight loss over time the more you push yourself. If you really want to lose more weight and see better, faster results, you can increase the intensity of your workouts. Try to keep your intensity level up through much of your workout, and then you’ll see the gains happen very quickly.
You’ll be most effective when you give yourself time to recover on a regular basis. Take a day or two off from cardio exercises so that your body can rest up and let your mind get a break from all the workouts you’re doing.
Should I do cardio every day? It’s up to you, but most people find that they do best if they take a little time off here and there, with regularly scheduled breaks so that they have something to look forward to and so that they don’t get bored of their workouts or overtired from them.