By Lauren Denos: 8/5/2015 (Fitness)

Should you do your workout all at one time or should you break it up? Well that depends on what are you wanting to accomplish.

This is a common question. People are confused about whether there is more benefit in either working out all at once for 30 minutes – 1 hour or whether they can just do one exercise here and there when they have time throughout the day, the truth is they are both good just in different ways.

Reasons to do it all at once:

It gets your heart rate up. Well I suppose anything you do even for a short amount of time will get your heart rate up, what I mean is it will keep your heart rate up long enough to build up your stamina. If you are wanting to increase your stamina for a marathon, hiking trip, or to be able to keep up with your active kids, then you may benefit more from doing your workout in one longer session.

It can set the mood for your day.
If you do a full workout in the morning it can not only help you wake up, but can also set the mood for your day. Many people also get a boost of motivation knowing that they have already accomplished something important first thing in their day. On the other hand some people like doing a full workout in the evening because it gets all the stress of the day out and helps them have a more relaxed evening.

No clothing changes in the day.
For some people who sweat a lot when they workout (If your not you may need to up the intensity) or who like to swim as part of their workout, it is nice to know that they can get wet or sweaty and change once into work clothing and that's it. Rather than fitting in a swim at lunch time and rushing to get your hair dry, and all cleaned up to get back to the office on time.

Reasons to spread it out:

It gives your brain a boost
When you do small burst of exercise throughout the day it can give your brain a boost helping you think clearer and helping to get some much need oxygen into your blood meaning that on top of a boost of concentration power you also get a burst of energy. This is especially helpful if your job requires you to sit at a desk all day.

No more "Not enough time"
One of the best reasons to do small bouts throughout the day, is if you don't get a workout in at all because you have no time. The best workout is the one that you will do and stick with, and if small burst of exercise is the most feasible thing for you to do, then that is a good enough reason. Although this does mean that you can no longer use the excuse of not enough time.

If you are new to exercise
If you are new to exercise and you find the whole thing too daunting, then small amounts here and there can take the pressure off. Then you do not need to have crazy stamina and strength, it gives your body a chance to get used to exercise more slowly. This makes sense since many people who have never exercised before can be recommended to just get at least 10 or 20 minutes in. If you are doing it in small bursts, you can actually get more than that amount in but not be worn out because you are giving yourself a big break in between each exercise. You will feel less overwhelmed this way.

If you choose to exercise in bursts keep in mind...

  • You still want to keep it vigorous.

  • You still want to workout various parts of your body, ie: chest, glutes, back etc.

  • You still want to get in both weight training and cardio

  • You still want proper foot wear on. Doing squats in heels is not a good plan. If you need to, go bear foot.

  • You still want to be consistent. Do not use this as a method to slack off. Plan some breaks and what you will do during them.

Plan it

There are so many things you can do. Start by creating a schedule of when you can do what specific exercise. It does not always have to be a time schedule. It may simply be something you do when you finally get a specific break. If you want to do a quick exercise when you have a bathroom break then make that part of your schedule. Just create an idea of what you will do when.

Examples of a schedule:

  • Wake up and do a set of pushups and jumping jacks

  • At lunch time, take a walk

  • During a snack or bathroom break bust out some squats

  • Take a few laps on the stairs

  • Do some calf raises while you are standing and talking to someone

Both working out in one solid chunk and many little workouts throughout the day have their merit, it is just a matter of finding what works for you. The most important thing is to just stick with it. So make your choice and get rolling.



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