"The 5 P's: Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance"
I realize today's opening quote isn't the most glamorous-but it's true! Before I get into ideas on putting together an exercise program when you're busy I want to refer back to my June 4th post about planning. I won't waste your time by completely repeating myself, but just to review it's a great idea to:
1. set a goal (how many days/wk you want to workout)
2. use Sunday to sit down with your calendar and find the time slots to get it done.
3. Plan for extra so if you skip a workout you're still on track for the original goal-if you make all the workouts you're in bonus land!!!
onto this week's topic...
If you find yourself constantly in a state of "being too busy" or "not having time to workout" your main objective should simply be to MOVE MORE! Even if that means taking the stairs instead of the elevator-lock it up!
-Find time to workout a minimum of 3x/week. I don't care if each workout only lasts 30 minutes, at the end of the week that's 90 minutes of exercise you weren't getting before!
-What you do with your 3 workouts depends on your goals.
Since weight loss is part of A LOT of people's goals, I'm addressing cardiovascular exercise first-as it can play a very significant role in hitting those goals.
-As always I suggest intervals! This means vary your intensity via speed, resistance or incline (depending on what kind of cardio you are doing) throughout the workout in bursts of 30 seconds to 90 seconds or more.
simple example: run/walk on treadmill for 20 minutes
*warm up walk for 2 minutes @ incline of 2, 4.0 mph
*jog 3 minutes @ same incline bumping up speed to 5-5.5 mph
*sprint 30 sec to 1 minute @ same incline bumping up speed to 7.5-10mph depending on how fast you can manage
*slow down to a run at incline of 3-4 at 6.0 mph for 2 minutes
*bump incline up to 10-15 and walk up hill at 3.0-4.5 mph (may need to hold on) for 2 minutes.
*REPEAT (NOTE: you should always give yourself 3-5 minutes to cool down to get heart rate back to normal)
This is just an example to illustrate how you might manipulate speed, resistance and incline on a piece of cardio equipment, the methods can be applied to any cardio. Also note some machines have interval settings, or options called something along the lines of "random hill"...not a bad idea to check these out and feel free to pick up the pace or add on more resistance if it's not challenging enough for you.
-You can apply these ideas to any cardio outside as well although obviously incline will depend on your course. You can walk/run/sprint/jog outside, ride a bike and manipulate your speed and resistance settings, rollerblade and etc. all outdoors.
-swimming is not only great cardio but an excellent total body workout. If you belong to a gym with access to a pool, have a pool of your own, or are fortunate enough to have easy access to a river, lake or ocean jump in and start swimming some laps! I don't care if you're not Michael Phelps, like I said earlier MOVE MORE! get in the water, move your arms and legs and burn some calories. If you're really into it, take some lessons and work on those strokes :)
-UNDER RATED IDEA OF THE WEEK: get a jump rope...many of us have not considered jumping rope since back in the day during recess. Check out this article (very entertaining I might add) on the benefits of jumping rope.
*if you're not sure how to get started, youtube "jumping rope" and hundreds of videos can help you out! (or just pop in any Rocky movie :P )
*How can jumping rope be super efficient? Multi-task! At some point in the week we all sit down and watch TV or a movie-instead of sitting down why not jump rope?!!! (I did this over the weekend while watching a movie for spurts of 2-3minutes w/ 30 seconds or so of rest in between for about 45 minutes, it went by super fast and I worked up sweat in my own living room as if I stepped of a cardio machine at the gym)
*I'm totally biased as I've been in love with spinning since I was 19 years old, so that is my next suggestion
-If you belong to a gym that offers spin classes consider taking at least one a week. By nature the class will vary over the course of the 45 minutes and really challenge you. Most gyms offer classes early in the morning, in the middle of the day and later in the evening on most days of the week and the weekends. (NOTE: if you're a first time spinner please ask the instructor to show you how to set up your bike properly to avoid injury)
*if you're a runner, especially if you're training for a race of some sort, spinning is excellent cross training as it increases your cardio and muscular endurance and gives those joints a break from the impact of running!
-last but not least once you incorporate some of these ideas, don't forget to push yourself each week, challenge yourself to not only move more but move faster, add more resistance, bump up that incline...even if it's just a tiny bit each week-in a few months you'll be really surprised with your progress :)
Next week I'll address strength training...Questions about today's post? Need help planning?
I'm always here for you firstname.lastname@example.org.
Good luck and keep it moving!