I’ve always said there are no shortcuts in life, you have to work hard to get what you want. It’s a belief that I share with most people who live in Sterling. However, you can achieve your goals faster by being smarter and doing less. That may sound contradictory, but it’s not. Doing less doesn’t mean you’re not working hard. It does mean you’re achieving your goals in the smartest way possible and doing the activities in the least amount of time. Working smarter makes all the difference in the world.
Use HIIT to achieve goals without taking much time from your day.
HIIT—High Intensity Interval Training—takes far less time than traditional training to achieve the results you want. It provides a maximum benefit in a minimum amount of time. Of course, it’s really intense (note the name—high intensity). One study showed that just 90 minutes of HIIT every week can bring health benefits for the heart that are the same as working out for five hours a week. HIIT exercises have you work toward maximum intensity for a specified time—such as 30 seconds—then, slow your pace and do a longer recovery period of moderate to low intensity for a longer period, such as 4 minutes. Repeat that for 30 minutes three times a week.
Do a nitric oxide dump
This exercise group boosts your mitochondrial health, helping your cardiovascular system and immune system. This group of exercises can take as little as three to four minutes to do AND you can do it anywhere. It’s composed of four exercises of 10-20 repetitions each. You do three to four sets, three times a day. One important rule is to make sure the sets are at least two hours apart. I’ve done these in the airport bathroom on a layover. Yes, I did get some strange looks, but felt great at the end of a long journey. The exercises are deep knee squats, tin soldier, jumping jacks with no jumping and finally a set of shoulder presses. Tin soldier is just alternating the arms and paddling one straight out in front of you with the other pointing directly down to a 90 degree angle to your body, lowering it and raising the other at the same time. Half jumping jacks the arm movements of jumping jacks with feet stationary.
Break up your workout to three ten minute or fifteen minute sets.
One way to manage a workout is to do it in shorter spurts. If you don’t have time for a thirty minute walk, walk to lunch at a location 10 minutes away and walk back. When you get off work, take a quick ten minute walk and you’re done. Breaking up your exercise time into manageable ten minute sessions makes it easier. Stand while you’re watching TV and do intense workouts during commercials with moderate paced walking in place during the program.
- Include resistance training in your workout. When you workout with weights, you burn more calories and get more for your exercise time.
- Do full body workouts. Burpees, step ups, pull ups, push ups and dips are a few examples of exercises that will give you more bang for your exercise time.
- Eat healthier. No matter how much you exercise, if your diet is fast foods and processed foods, you won’t get the results you want. Include a healthier diet in your regimen.
- Make your home chores a time to get fitter, too. Move fast, move slow. Create a HIIT with your chores. Move as fast as you can scrubbing the tub and then moderately clean the sink. Push that hand mower with speed and then move slower. Find ways to get a twofer—getting exercise while you get other tasks done.