Working Out 2 Times a Day Taught Me a Few Things, but This Is My Main Takeaway

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I never set out to work out multiple times a day. But given that I didn't have a lot else on my calendar recently, filling my time with exercise classes that allowed me to "meet" up with friends virtually and keep a relatively busy schedule seemed like a good option. I started to look forward to my classes so much so that once one was over, I found myself immediately looking for the next one to add to the calendar.

It got to the point where I lived exclusively in my UA Infinity Mid Sports Bra ($40) and had at least two workouts "scheduled" most days. Of course, each of these classes I was opting for was only about 20 to 35 minutes, and the commute time to class was all of the 30 seconds it took to go from my bedroom to my living room, so the commitment was very manageable.

I had been craving motivation and order, and bookending my days with fitness classes was my way of establishing just that. And all that structure and accountability also trickled over into my work life, making me a much happier and productive worker. Ultimately, working out multiple times a day — especially during the times of stay-at-home orders — became the biggest way I stayed physically and mentally busy.

I definitely got a lot from a packed fitness schedule. I've experimented with different and challenging workouts that I'd normally never try. An avid runner, I always made excuses for why I wasn't going to lift weights or take that hot yoga class everyone loved. Now, I made time to try these different workouts and wondered what took me so long to give them a shot. To no surprise, I've benefited immensely physically. I can hold planks, do push-ups, and do squats like the best of them.

But the biggest takeaway I've had from working out multiple times a day is this: I don't have to do it. As long as signing up for classes, waking up early to go on a run, and ending my day with yoga is fun, I'll continue to do it. However, the second it fails to be that release I need, I won't force it. You see, working out multiple times a day has been also really hard on my body. I've been sore, a lot. I've felt tired a lot.

And that's OK. I'm allowed to feel tired — more importantly, I'm allowed to not work out at all if that's what I want. Listening to my body and acknowledging when it needs a rest day versus when it needs an active day has been just as valuable as any workout class I've taken these past few months.

Being the most active I've ever been ultimately has made me realize that completing dozens of workouts doesn't make me accomplished or "fit." What does is understanding my body and mind and honoring what it needs.