Is there anything exercise can’t do? It helps people lose weight and sleep better, as well as aids in the prevention of colds and disease. And aside from the endorphins it creates to uplift moods and energy levels, hitting the gym can also reduce stress. With all these benefits, it would seem that more is better - but is that really the case?
To stay healthy, experts recommend about 30 minutes per day of moderately intense exercise five days a week. If you’re trying to lose or maintain your weight, 60 to 90 minutes a day, five times a week is the goal, and we’re talking heart-pumping, calorie-burning cardio.
With that said, it’s not always possible to fit in five workouts each week, so doubling up in one day is a great way to balance a tight schedule. When doing two daily workouts, make sure they’re different from one another so you can include a balance of cardio, strength training, and stretching over the course of a day. Go for a run in the morning and take an evening yoga class, or hit up that lunchtime Spin class and do some strength training before dinner. Be conscious of which muscles you’re targeting each time you exercise, because solely working your legs twice in one day could not only cause a muscular imbalance that leads to pain or injury, but you’ll also get bored. Rest days are also important, so take it easy at least twice a week to allow your muscles a chance to heal and strengthen.
Of course if you’re training for a race, tackling a daylong hike or snowshoe, or attending a fitness event, you’ll be exceeding the two to three hours of exercise two basic workouts would entail. For big fitness bursts like this, pace yourself throughout the day and be mindful of pushing yourself too far. If you’re feeling extremely lethargic, dizzy, nauseous, or painfully sore, stop immediately to rest, and the next time scale down the intensity a bit. If two regular daily workouts is something you’d like to make a habit of, it’s a good idea to stick to 30 to 90 minutes per session, and make one high-intensity cardio and the other lower intensity.
Also keep in mind that exercising twice in one day will cause you to burn more calories, and make sure you’re nourishing yourself with enough protein and healthy carbs. And as long as getting in your two workouts doesn’t have a negative effect on your life or prevent you from getting enough sleep, then there’s nothing wrong with sweating it out twice (as long as you’re OK with taking two showers!).
With Lena Dunham (constantly) stripping down in her TV show, Girls, you might be surprised to learn that she has had her fair share of serious hang-ups about her weight. In her new book, Not That Kind of Girl, she wrote an entire chapter about her obsessive attempts to lose weight. At one point, Lena took things way too far.
She recently told People that at one time, her eating was so extreme and restrictive that she ended up “in the hospital with crazy stomach pains. It was basically revealed that I’d been just drinking laxative tea and coffee and smoking cigarettes and then eating weird foods at weird hours. I really messed myself up,” she says.
With that said, she’s come a long way from those days. In addition to her “incredibly supportive boyfriend,” something finally clicked inside for Lena. Eventually, she grasped the concept that “food is fuel” - an aha moment that offers real freedom to anyone who has struggled with extreme eating. Now, Lena says she “really feel[s] good with my size now . . . I know when I say that people are like, ‘mm hmm’, but I just do! It used to be when I went into a room with all thin women I felt like, what’s wrong with me? Now I just feel special.” Regardless of being in the public eye, we can all take a page from Lena’s attitude of self-love.
Halloween treats have their time and place, but if you feel like you can’t turn around without grabbing a handful (or two) of fun-size calorie bombs, then a healthier, more satisfying option is in order. Enter these smoothies. From chocolate concoctions to frothy shakes, these nine nutrient-packed smoothies will satisfy your Halloween candy cravings.
- Additional reporting by Aemilia Madden
Photos: Jenny Sugar, Lizzie Fuhr, Dashing Dish
Whether you’re on the go running errands or need a pick-me-up pre-workout, an energy bar is a perfect handy and healthy treat. If you’re tired of the usual store-bought suspects, why not try making your own? Here are a group of yummy energizing recipes that will have you up and running in no time.
- Additional reporting by Tara Block, Jaime Young, and Aemilia Madden
Photos: Leta Shy, Anna Monette Roberts, and Jenny Sugar
The recent FDA approval of Trulicity, an injectable type 2 diabetes drug, gives people a third option when it comes to once-a-week diabetes medication. WebMD asked two doctors and a pharmacist familiar with the new medications to answer some commonly asked questions about the weekly options.
Get ready, because this five-move kettlebell workout will torch tons of calories. The workout, created by KettleWorx director of programming Laura Wilson, features basic kettlebell moves that should be in anyone’s strength-training repertoire.
When learning these exercises, it’s important to start with a light weight first – Laura recommends a five- or 10-pound kettlebell. You can increase the amount of repetitions as you become stronger, but first focus on your form and only increase the weight after you can do 20 reps of these moves correctly with a lighter weight. Once you’ve hit 20 reps, increase the weight but bring your repetitions back down to 10 until you’ve acclimated to the heavier weight. “It’s about pacing yourself and listening to your body; it will tell you what’s right,” Laura says.
Repeat the following five-move circuit three times in order to work your entire body and keep your heart rate up. Click through to see Laura in action and learn how to do the workout!