Welcome to my personal training blog. There is so much information around regarding exercise and diets it's hard to know what is going to work for you. With over 12 years in the industry, I aim to bring my experience and knowledge to this blog so you can learn the best way's to achieve your health and fitness goals.

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Too busy to fit exercise into your lifestlye?

One of the most common excuses I hear for missing exercise sessions is lack of time.
In my ten plus years of training clients I have met only one person who genuinely didn't have time in her day to exercise.

There are two issues here , first of all how much time do you actually have to set aside for exercise and secondly finding that time.

There is good news on the first issue, studies have shown that 20-30 minutes of high intensity interval training performed 3 times per week can be as effective and sometimes more effective than one hour of exercise performed five times per week. So the excuse that you need to spend hours and hours exercising to see any results doesnt hold water.

The bad news is you still have to find time to do it.

So what is high intensity interval training?

Simply put it is a combination of short intense efforts of activity followed by periods of recovery. The key words here and INTENSE activity. The more intense the more the benefits.

A good example is 10 repeats of 1 minute hard followed by 1 min easy recovery. This could be performed on any type of cardiovascular equipment, running, running up stairs, stepping up and down a step to name a few.

This is obviously targeting your cardiovascular system. If you want to work on muscle conditioning the same principle can be applied. Simply select a number of full body exercises and do as many repetitions as you can in the allotted time period. For example you could do lunges,push ups,squats and dips. There are thousands of different full body exercises you could do and if you arent sure see a fitness professional and get them to show you.

A common way to do this is to do 20 seconds of an exercise then have 10 seconds rest and then perform another exercise for 20 seconds and then repeat this four times through. Making a total of 4 minutes.

Just this four minute period of work done at high intensity will boost your metabolism significantly for a few hours.

If you have more time choose another two exercises and repeat.

A combination of the cardiovascular intervals and the conditioning intervals will have a big impact of fitness,fat loss and toning.

How often?

How often you perform these sessions depends on what kind of results you want but as a minimum you should aim for two cardiovascular interval sessions and around 20 four minute conditioning intervals . Did I say twenty - surely he's made a typo you are thinking. Well lets look at what I've asked - two cardiovascular conditioning sessions at 20-30 minutes each and twenty four minute intervals totalling 80 minutes. Sum total of 160-180 minutes or around 3 hours per week. Thats 25 minutes per day.

Finding the time

No how many of you can honestly say that you cant find 25 minutes a day to exercise?

Surely finding time to exercise is a high priority on your day. Isn't it? No?

Isn't having a fit and healthy body that gives you the energy and capability to cope with all the things you want to do in your day important to you?

Adding five, ten fifteen good quality years to your life would be a good thing wouldn't it?

Saving thousands of pounds on your own health care would help the bank balance wouldn't it?

Being fit and active would make sure retirement so much more enjoyable wouldnt it?

Looking in the mirror and seeing a body you are happy with would do wonders for your confidence and self esteem wouldn't it?

Being fit and healthy would set a good example to your kids and help them towards a fit an healthy lifestyle wouldn't it?

Maybe not.

Maybe sleeping in an extra 20 minutes is more important.

Maybe it is better to keep eating junk and being lazy and die at 60. Old age is overrated anyway.

Maybe you aren't worried if your kids follow your inactive lifestlye and end up overweight before they even leave school

Maybe the thought of a triple bypass surgery and the horrible scar on your chest doesnt phase you much.

Maybe running out of breath after playing with your grandkids for 5 minutes is considered the norm.

Maybe having self confidence is overated, if you wear baggy clothing no-one will notice anyway ( except you of course)

Maybe you are too busy now to fit in exercise but you are getting things sorted and soon you'll have time to fit it in. Except wasnt that what you said last year?

Maybe being sick regularly isn't such a big deal. Being on tablets to control your blood pressure or blood sugar for the rest of your life is no big deal really.

Maybe I'm being blunt but you see my point.

Exercising regularly should be considered the norm not the exception.

As human beings our bodies are designed to exercise. There have been some articles and programs in the media saying we have naturally evolved to eat fatty foods and this is true. The reason for this is that it taught the body to seek food that it could store easily so when food was scarce it had reserves to fall back on. There is no scarcity of food these days. There is however a complete lack of exercise.

The solution

Performing the cardiovascular and conditioning intervals I have described above requires little equipment and can be done at home , in the park , in a gym almost anywhere.

You can even do just one four minute conditioning interval at a time, so if you only have 5 minutes to exercise you cant make excuses!

Make a promise to yourself that you'll make time to exercise and you'll stick with it forever. Yes forever. Exercise is not a short term solution , it is a long term lifestyle.

1 comment:

addypotter said...

I think lack of time is definitely the easiest excuse out there. When you are tired it is hard to find the motivation. That is why I want to hire someone to help me with training. Maybe then I will be more motivated.