Should I workout everyday? This is a question, like myself, many men probably ask themselves on a regular basis. Let's face it, working out isn't just about being active and staying in shape physically, but it's also necessary for mental strength, too, used to unwind and find balance between work, family and friends. But, is working out everyday actually good for you? I had to know.
That's why I reached out to Bodybuilding.com's Nikki Walter, who is a lifestyle and fitness coach who knows her stuff. Not only does Nikki find a way to balance all that she has going on with a daily workout routine, but she also gets paid to set up plans for various clients with different levels of experience in the gym. So, basically, she's a real OG when it comes to fitness.
As we all get older and can struggle staying in shape, it's important to adjust workout routines and give your body proper time to recover. That said, Nikki reminds us all that, just because you're in recovery mode, doesn't necessarily mean you should be in rest mode. So, should I workout everyday? Keep reading to see what Nikki Walter had to say about risk versus reward, alternative exercises to try and why nutrition is so important.
FHM: So Many People Think Working Out Every Day Is OK. Are Our Bodies Meant For That?
Nikki Walter: "Yes, it's OK to exercise daily, but not necessary for desired results. It's good for improving energy levels, mood and may even help you sleep better. If you're combining both cardiovascular and strength, you may overtrain, which could reverse the list above leading to restless sleeping, exhaustion and a bigger appetite due to fatigue. But, if you're training for endurance versus building, your training will be specific to your goals. Setting personal goals is a great way to stay motivated and could help focus because it's easy to stay accountable, even when burnout happens, because you have to get your miles or lift in."
FHM: Any Recommendations To Keep That Motivation?
Nikki Walter: "If you're strength training, try to lift two-three days per week and perform 30 minutes of cardiovascular activity three to five days per week. If your goal is to loose weight, select two-three days of cardiovascular for 60 minutes. For those with a challenging schedule, I recommend HIIT training. Plus, I prefer it because of the short duration and intensity, but be sure to work your hardest and push your hardest in that 20-25 minutes. To prevent overall burnout, try to commit to something different that is low impact. Bodyweight exercises are beneficial for stimulating blood flow and improving circulation."
FHM: Risk Versus Reward: Our Bodies Need To Rest, But What's The Necessary Recovery Time?
Nikki Walter: "Recovery time will depend on the individual, but is essential for development and injury prevention. As much as we want to keep going and stay committed, we don't want to overtrain. Rest allows your muscles an opportunity to gain strength. During rest, muscle fatigue stiffness and soreness is your body’s way of protecting you from overheating the muscle. It needs time to calm muscle tissue and rebuild. Recovery can be guided by hydration and proper diet. Timing nutrition properly for recovery is often overlooked by many, but could be a game-changer in results and recovery time, when taken properly."
FHM: Is There A Standard Rule To Follow For Recovery?
Nikki Walter: "General rule of thumb is to allow 24-48 hours for moderate recovery and 24-72 hours for intense training recovery. It's worth it, but if you have to keep moving or must break a sweat, keep it low intensity and enjoy the short period of rest. If you return too early, you’ll be compensating for muscle fiber damage, which could increase injury potential."
FHM: What's The Biggest Concern Guys Should Worry About With Such Workout Habits?
Nikki Walter: "Overtraining. Not only does it lead to injury or burnout, but it can also effect sleeping patterns, mood and Libido. Also, nutrition. We all know diet does most of the hard work when it comes to seeing our results, but it's also vital to recovery and strength. I find that the biggest obstacle for male clients is food. They love food, and they will eat it, but if it isn’t prepared or ready for them to grab, they're less likely to stay on task. Lazy is not sexy."
FHM: Any Tips On Recovering From A Minor Injury From The Gym, Other Than Just Rest?
Nikki Walter: "Depending on the severity of the injury, always seek advice from your physician. My first tip is to take even the smallest injuries seriously. We tend to blow injuries off and self diagnose them, but we need to remember it's our body telling us that it needs time to recover. After proper diagnosis, make sure you're properly lifting all muscle groups for balance. If resting drives you insane, consider low impact or slow paced activities like yoga, light walks or biking. And, of course, the sauna and steam room are great ways to recover. Listen to your body, because it's much better to take a few days of rest rather than risk major injury, which could cause more time off and health risks."
Most images via BodyBuilding.com, with photo of Nikki in green top courtesy of Instagram/tombearphoto.