With these fitness shortcuts, you can exercise less and benefit more. The idea of exercising less and seeing more benefits is pretty appealing. Is it possible though to spend less time sweating and straining at the gym and get the same, if not better, results?
The goal here is to disguise your exercise. Do activities you enjoy, like walking the dog, playing catch with your children or gardening. They all burn calories and get you fitter too. Here are some recommendations how to be fit if you don’t have much time and how to change the way you do simple things:
- Forget the car for short journeys, walk or cycle instead
- If you get a bus or a train, get off one stop early and walk the rest of the way
- Use the stairs instead of the lift or escalator
- Try a few gentle exercises while you watch TV
- Do your housework at a faster pace
If you have a little bit of time to slot in some exercise, just half an hour a day of moderate activity, enough to get you warm and slightly out of breath, is all it takes:
- Walk briskly for thirty minutes, five times a week
- Garden for an hour a week
- Walk your dog, or a friend’s
- Go for a walk in your lunch break
- Set your alarm clock half an hour early and start your day with exercise
Even 10 minutes a day is better than nothing at all. People say they haven’t got time to exercise but that’s just an excuse. They can just run up and down their stairs a few times; everyone’s got time to do that. Experts say the benefits of walking can’t be underestimated too.
Making exercise count
Another way to sneak more fitness into a busy day is to vary the activities you do during your formal workouts. To increase the impact of any physical activity without spending more time exercising, vary your activities and make each movement as complex and as varied as possible.
For example, instead of just going for a run, do sprints and then stop, start, turn and twist. Another technique is to change your workout equipment. For example, during one gym session you might spend 10 minutes on an exercise bike, 10 minutes running on the treadmill, 10 minutes skipping and 10 minutes doing strength training. This means your body works harder and you’ll get more out of your exercise session.
Workouts that work harder
Some activities definitely work you harder than others. The general rule of thumb for fitness is the more vigorous the activity the less time you need to do it to get optimum results; and the more leisurely your activity, the longer your exercise session should be.
15 minutes climbing stairs, skipping, or sprinting a mile is equal to playing netball or football for 45 minutes. And you’ll get the same result from cycling four miles in 15 minutes as from mowing the lawn for 45 minutes.
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