So you have a big event coming up – a wedding, a beach vacation, a reunion – and you want to look your absolute best. Unfortunately, those last pesky 8 pounds are still lingering around from winter. Your thoughts go back to your prime high school days, busting your butt twice a day at practice or in the gym – could this be the fastest road to slimming down before the big day? Sure, you’ll burn more calories the more you move, but are twice daily workouts effective, or unsafe? To figure out the best answer for your body and your goals, think about your timeline. How much time do you have before this big event? How active have you been in the past couple months and past couple weeks? The answers to these questions will help determine if the extra sweat will help you reach your goals. If you have less than a couple weeks left in your countdown and you’ve been consistently (as in, 5-6 days a week) active over the past few months, two-a-days may help boost you towards your goal. If your event is more than 2 weeks away, or you haven’t been the strictest with your workout routine lately, hold off – you could end up doing more harm than good. If you fall in the first category, there are a few rules to follow in order to get the most benefit from your additional workouts and avoid injury. First, avoid doubling up your workouts every day. It is best to give your body a day of rest between double headers, so stick to at most, an every other day plan. Do your high intensity or strength training earlier in the day, and add in some low intensity cardio exercise in the evening to up your calorie burn without burning out your body. Drink more water than you typically do during two-a-day workout weeks to help your body recover, and strive to get at least 30 extra minutes of sleep each night. The most important rule is to listen to your body. We all recover at different rates, so your body may need 2 days of rest or low intensity workouts before it can tackle another two-a-day, and that’s okay! If you haven’t been the most diligent exerciser over the past 6 weeks or you have more than 2 weeks before the big day, ease into things. Start by building a solid foundation, exercising at least 5 days a week for at least 45 minutes. Once this becomes comfortable and as the goal date approaches, use the last one to two weeks to double up and add an extra calorie burn, following the same rules listed above. While extra workouts can mean extra pounds lost, more isn’t always better. Listen to your body and watch for signs of fatigue and injury, as an increase in physical activity will always increase your risk of injury. Pair your workouts with clean, frequent eating and you’ll be lean and toned in no time!