When it comes to the secret of getting REAL results from your workout, I’ve got good news and I’ve got bad news. The good news is that you can get amazing results in a short amount of time! That’s great for all of you who are time-strapped with the demands of life…that’s pretty much everyone reading this, right? The bad news is that you are going to have to step up your effort.
Wait…don’t stop reading yet! This doesn’t mean you have to quit your day job and become a gym rat to have any kind of muscle definition. Hear me out…
We’ve all heard the recommendations for physical activity and we are well aware of the incredible benefits of regular exercise. Yet, only 5% of American adults actually meet these recommendations, because it can be hard to figure out how to make physical activity fit into our lives.
I’m going to break it down for you, show you how you CAN make it a part of real life, and tell you how to get the most from your effort.
Just so that we are all on the same page, here are the recommendations for physical activity.
See, if you can bring that intensity level up to vigorous, you can cut your time in half! Of course, it is good for cardiovascular benefits to get at least 30 minutes of aerobic activity in a session, but you can see health benefits in as little as 10 or 15-minute bouts.
In fact, a recent study at the University of Utah proved that higher intensity activity is associated with lower BMI (body mass index), where lower intensity activity didn’t have the same reduced risk of overweight and obesity. One researcher said “The intensity of the activity matters more than the duration.”
Now, we can’t all jump into Insanity-level workouts (although I have to say those videos are amazing!), but the goal is to increase your intensity small bits at a time. Instead of going for a leisurely 30-minute walk, research suggests you are better off jogging for 5-10 minutes, running for 1-3 minutes, and back to jogging or walking. Throwing a few bursts of high-intensity exercise adds more interest to your workouts too, and it allows you to finish in shorter amount of time or in fewer days each week.
As always, you need to listen to your body anytime you are working out. Challenge means work, but it shouldn’t mean pain. Yes, you can be sore the next day, but the soreness should be in your muscles not your joints. If you aren’t sure about form or proper intervals for intensity, seek the help of a trainer or exercise professional. But, if you are sick of not seeing any results for that daily walk you’ve been doing for months, for your standard 3-mile jog you’ve stuck to since the new year, or whatever work out you’ve been stagnating on, it might just be time to increase your intensity!
So back to the “How am I’m going to fit this into my real life?” question. Here’s how! Pick 4 days this week. It’s better to space them out throughout the week, but really I’m not going to be picky here. Let’s say you choose Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. On Tuesday and Thursday, you put on some running shoes during lunch or after work and go for a 30-minute walk/run. Alternate walking for 5 minutes followed by running for 5 minutes until your 30 minutes are up. Then on Saturday and Sunday, go for a 10-minute walk followed by the 10-minute Full Body Mix workout. (See spelled out plan below)
In 30-minutes or less 4 days per week, you’ve done it! Increase the amount of time in vigorous exercise and you can cut that time even further…or see results faster. Your choice! Drop a comment below if you give this or another workout plan a try. Do you have your own way of ramping up your intensity? I’d love to hear it.