Multiple sessions can be a way to fit in different kinds of exercise when done the right way
Everyday exercisers are embracing the grind usually reserved for triathletes and pro football players: two-a-days.
Unlike the overachievers and professionals chasing an extra fitness edge, these people often use that second workout to structure their workday, socialize or de-stress. Some are worried about their own longevity.
Sarah Chabot is a 42-year-old hospitality executive who lives on a farm in Walland, Tenn. She regularly rides horses and runs. Looking to boost her cardiovascular health without taxing her joints, she’s now added cycling to her daily mix.
“I have a family history of health problems, and want to be in the best shape possible to fight off whatever may be coming down the road,” says Chabot.
Her husband, Andy Chabot, 42, is a longtime two-a-day exerciser. The extra sweat session is a way for the couple to spend more time together.
Public health agencies generally suggest that adults do at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity and work on muscle-strengthening at least twice a week. And trainers also tout the benefits of yoga, Pilates and other mind-body practices.
Still, there’s a right way and a wrong way to approach twice daily exercise, given that too much stress on your body can cause long-term injuries.
Max Graeber, a Las Vegas-based personal trainer, says clients tell him bookending their days around the gym forces them to be more efficient during their workday. And ending the day with an activity they enjoy, like yoga or pickleball, feels like a reward.
“It’s more and more common for people to do a cardio or strength training in the morning and then come back for hot yoga or meditation at night,” Graeber says.
Jennifer V. Cole, a 46-year-old culinary consultant living in Catania, Sicily, works from home and says the gym has become her social space. The lapsed exerciser joined a gym in late 2020 looking to drop pandemic pounds.
“As I started to get more fit, an hour-long workout felt like a warm-up,” she says.
She’s now a gym regular, supplementing personal-training sessions with daily group fitness classes like TRX training and Zumba. Cole says the classes prevent boredom and challenge her muscles in new ways. The increased exercise has also improved her sleep and focus at work and provides a sense of community.
“Sometimes I don’t necessarily want to return to the gym in the afternoon or evening, but I do it because I want to see my gym friends,” she says.
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