Working out twice a day or more can increase weight loss. But if you’re considering adopting a difficult exercise regimen, discuss your plans with your doctor to make sure you're physically up to the challenge. Also, working out more than once a day could have some negative effects on your health, so let your doctor know about any unusual symptoms.
Exercising multiple times a day can increase the number of calories you burn, speeding up your rate of weight loss. Weight loss occurs when you follow a simple rule: Burn more calories than you consume. The more physical activity you engage in, the more calories you burn and the faster your weight loss will be.
Working out twice a day or more might have some disadvantages. If your workouts are intensive, you risk overtraining, which can increase your risk of injury. Some signs of overtraining you might experience include unusual muscle soreness, performance plateaus or declines, prolonged general fatigue and increased occurrence of sickness. However, if your workouts are relatively low-key -- for example, brisk jogs or bicycle rides -- chances are multiple workouts will not overwhelm your body.
If your fitness program focuses on strength training in addition to weight loss, distribute your workouts carefully to avoid exercising the same muscle groups too often. For example, if you perform lower-body weightlifting exercises in the morning and then run at night, your second workout might be counterproductive. Your muscles need time to heal and rebuild after a strenuous workout. As a general rule, wait 48 hours between workouts to ensure proper recovery, or focus on different muscle groups in consecutive workouts.
Another disadvantage of multiple daily workouts is the amount of time you lose exercising. Working out once a day is hard enough for women juggling work and a personal life. Finding time for several workouts a day might border on the impossible. Depending on your situation, a more effective approach might be designing a single intensive program that helps you reach your calorie-burning goals, rather than relying on separate workouts. For example, increasing your workout's intensity can increase your weight loss: a 125-pound woman running for 30 minutes at 5 mph burns 240 calories, according to Harvard Medical School. If she increased her running speed to 6 mph, she would burn 300 calories.
Stan Mack is a business writer specializing in finance, business ethics and human resources. His work has appeared in the online editions of the "Houston Chronicle" and "USA Today," among other outlets. Mack studied philosophy and economics at the University of Memphis.