Is It OK to Workout Everyday?


Considering how good it is for the body and mind, you might think that more exercise (like more vegetables) is always better. Does that mean you should exercise every day? It really depends on what kind of exercise you want to do.

There’s nothing wrong with taking days off in exercising. Recently, several studies recommended that adults do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio (or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity cardio) plus at least two strength-training sessions per week. Hence, depending on your schedule, you can meet these minimum requirements in just a few days.

However, if you prefer shorter workouts, for example, you might end up spending more days in your exercise routine, so you need to know how to do it in a way that maximizes your efforts and doesn’t waste them. How often you should sweat by exercising per week, on the other hand, depends on your goals (and, to some extent, your preferences).

The Benefits of Daily Exercise

Is it bad to exercise every day? Ultimately, that answer depends on how you define “exercise.” Moving your body every day is not bad for you. On the contrary, a little physical activity every day offers some legitimate (and scientifically proven!) benefits.

Sedentary people have a much higher risk of all-cause mortality, as well as a higher risk of mental health problems like depression and anxiety. A sedentary lifestyle also contributes to obesity, dyslipidemia, and high blood pressure reports the World Health Organization.

Regular exercise also increases your overall risk of injury, especially as you get older. The body adapts to the positions in which we spend most of our time. If people spend all day sitting and slumped in their seats, their bodies will start to assume this position all the time.

The result? People experience pain in the neck, and lower back, and the weakening of the chest and core muscles. Later, the consequences of this can range from pain to an increased risk of falling, as exercise and muscle strengthening can help prevent falls. This isn’t ideal for someone looking to lead a long and healthy independent life.

In addition, daily exercise has the extra benefit of improving your overall mood. Even if you just go for a walk, you’ll have a rush of feel-good endorphins. Sometimes an endorphin is all you need to go from moody to happy.

Wait, Aren’t Exercise and Training the Same Thing?

What is the difference between daily activity and daily training? There is no one-size-fits-all answer as it depends on your current fitness level, athletic background (aka training age), actual age, and general health. For example, some people count a brisk walk as exercise, but for other people with a lower fitness level, it may count as exercise. As a rule of thumb, exercise or physical activity is anything that forces your body to expend energy (i.e., walk your dog or clean the house). While exercise is viewed as anything structured or repetitive and performed intending to improve physical fitness.

How Much Is Ideal?

One day to a week off is often recommended when structuring an exercise program, but sometimes you may want to exercise every day. If you don’t push yourself too hard or become obsessed with exercising every day is fine.

Make sure you enjoy it without being too hard on yourself, especially during illness or injury. Continuously revamp your motivation that instils the necessity to work out every day. If you find that a day off throws you off course and makes it harder to motivate you to return, then do a lighter or shorter version of your workout on a rest day.

A common rule of thumb is to get 30 minutes of moderate physical activity every day, which equates to at least 150 total minutes of moderate physical activity per week or you can do at least 75 minutes of intense exercise every week.

Exercise Types

If you want to achieve your fitness, health, or weight loss goals, try to get at least 45 minutes of exercise every day. Add some type of high-intensity activity such as:

  • Running
  • Plyometric Exercises
  • Climbing Hills

If you do intense cardio or weightlifting, you can take a day off between sessions, or on different areas of your body every other day. Simply change your routine so that you don’t train intensively every day.

Shorter or Longer

It’s better to do a short workout every day than one or two long workouts every week. Similarly, having short bursts of activity throughout the day when you don’t have time for a longer workout is ideal than skipping it altogether.

Exercises to Incorporate Into Your Routine

To get the most benefits, including a reduced risk of injury, you should do each of the four types of exercises: 

  • Resistance exercises increase your breathing and heart rate to improve overall fitness. Examples include jogging, swimming, and dancing.
  • Strength exercises build muscle mass, strengthen bones, and help control weight. Examples include weightlifting, bodyweight training, and resistance band exercises.
  • Balance exercises help improve stability and prevent falls while making daily movement easier. Examples include balance exercises, tai chi, and standing yoga poses.
  • Flexibility exercises relieve physical discomfort and improve flexibility, range of motion, movement, and posture. Examples include stretching, yoga, and Pilates.

Does Strength Training Work?

Muscular strength is essential to do almost anything.

Cardiovascular Exercise Is Best

Get your heart pumping with aerobic activity. The CDC recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity per week.

Moderate-intensity activity will make you sweat, but you should be able to talk. Examples include brisk walking, cycling on level ground or with few hills, and pushing a lawnmower. Examples: running, swimming, and playing basketball.

Benefits of Daily Exercise

Being physically active regularly can benefit you in many ways. These are just a few that you may notice.

Brain Health

Improved thinking and cognition can immediately occur from the time you train. Keeping it consistent can also help relieve anxiety, depression, and stress.

Sleep Better

Keep your melatonin in the medicine cabinet. John Hopkins Medicine states that moderate aerobic exercise can improve slow sleep, the kind that rejuvenates both body and mind.

Reduces Health Complications

The risk of developing cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer can be reduced with regular physical activity. The CDC also mentions that 150 minutes of exercise every week can reduce mortality by 33%.

How Do You Find the Balance?

Here is the question. The consistency with which you train depends on many factors. Training should be specific to your goals and what you want to achieve from your training. Everyone is different.

Some who are training for a marathon naturally train with a different consistency than someone who occasionally runs two miles to stay in shape. In general, the higher your goal, the more consistent you should be.

In addition to your specific goals, it also depends on the type of training itself. If you practice strength train by dividing muscle groups like arms and shoulders on Monday and legs on Tuesday, you can train five to six days in a row. This is because you naturally give your muscle groups a day off while you train the other muscle groups.

Things change, however, if you’re a runner, cyclist, or cardiovascular exercise enthusiast. Muscle groups of the body and depending on the intensity of the training need more rest days.

Try to stick to an intense full-body workout every other day. This does not apply to slow walking or light cardiovascular activities. Your cardiovascular system doesn’t need a long recovery time as your muscles do.

Stay Motivated

Setting goals and sticking to a plan to achieve them will help you build drive, discipline, and determination that will naturally carry over to other areas of your life.

Exercising every day is okay if you’re working towards weight loss goals or completing a challenge that involves exercising every day. Get creative with how you get up and move can. Notice or write down how much time you spend sitting each day or week. Do whatever is necessary to reduce this time.

Consider the following:

  • Work at a standing desk.
  • Climb a few stations off the train out early and walk the rest of the way.
  • Replace sedentary and passive activities with active projects or activities.

If sitting for a long time, get up for at least 5 minutes every hour. Walk briskly, jog in place, or do standing exercises like jumping jacks, lunges, or arm circles.


If you are trained or train intensively regularly, there are a few safety instructions to consider. Daily training can lead to injuries, fatigue, and exhaustion. All these things can make you abandon your fitness routine altogether.

Start slowly and gradually increase the duration and intensity of each new exercise routine. Take care of your body. Reduce the intensity of your exercise if you experience: 

  • Pain
  • Intense Muscle Pain
  • Discomfort
  • Cramps
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness

Exercising Every Day Can Get Bad

If you move your body every day, but you go to the gym every day, it’s a benefit it is not to be pushed. Period. It’s not healthy to lift heavy weights and/or work out at maximum intensity seven days a week.

Exercising too hard too often can affect your ability to continue making progress. In the sports world, this condition is known as overtraining syndrome or overexertion. Overtraining syndrome is, in short, the point at which the body is unable to move from one to the other exercise and get into a state of chronic stress.

It happens when you hit your body with a deadly combination: too much exercise and insufficient rest. Inadequate sleep quality and quality, poor diet and calorie intake, and high levels of stress can all contribute to insufficient recovery, which is on the verge of overtraining syndrome, but not quite. Essentially, not controlling your overexertion can easily lead to Overtraining Syndrome Overtraining?

Honestly, most athletes in general don’t have to worry too much about overtraining. The small percentage of athletes who hit the gym or hit the trails every day poses a significant risk.

If this is you, you’re maintaining the quality and quantity of your sleep in the eye. Usually, the first sign of overtraining syndrome is poor sleep. Many people will find that they have a hard time falling asleep or can’t get back to sleep after waking up in the middle of the night.

Other common signs of overtraining include deteriorating mental health, reduced performance, loss of appetite and chronic or persistent injuries. In extreme cases, overtraining can even show up as missed periods or an inability to maintain an erection.

If you notice any of these early signs, caution is advised if you work out every day, talk to a fitness professional. With their help, you can feel better in as little as one to four weeks with strategic rest and recovery, both now and by incorporating it into your routine in the future. If your symptoms are really worrying you, or if they don’t go away with enough rest, you should also talk to a doctor.

How to Know When It’s Time for a Rest Day

Overtraining syndrome isn’t the only time a rest day is a good idea. Rest is also a smart move if you haven’t had a good night’s sleep for two or more days in a row.

You should also take a day off when you’re distracted and can’t take it anymore. A rest day is also a good measure if you’re dreading your next session. The aim is to create a long-term sustainable movement sequence and movement reference.

Skipping a workout because you don’t feel like it for a year or more is nothing. When it comes to taking rest days, remember that it’s not about waiting until you need one as soon as possible, it’s about building rest and recovery into your routine, so you don’t hit those walls in the first place.

The Bottom Line

Talk to a health professional or doctor if you are new to exercising, taking medication, or have a health condition, including injuries. Think about what field you are in.

If you find that you want to exercise vigorously every day, permit yourself to take a day off now and then. In any case, keep track of how often you train and stay amazed by your progress.


Saravavan Nadarajan (Vanan)

Vanan, fitness expert and leader at EzFit Singapore, specializes in holistic training—home-based, boot camps, and corporate fitness—with over a decade of industry experience.

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