Tip-80: My Top 10 Tips for a Healthy 2011

Newsflash: I don’t look forward to exercising. I look forward to how I feel when it’s over. I don’t wake up everyday saying “oh good, I’m going to go jog three miles”.

When I was overweight, my definition of exercise was spending at least 45 minutes sweating at the gym. So if I didn’t have an extra 45 minutes in my day, I would skip the workout and instead feel guilty because I didn’t get to the gym.

To be successful at weight loss, I had to change my definition of exercise. I had to be more efficient and consistent and I had to plan my workouts ahead of time.

My decision to exercise is actually made the night before. I have to set my alarm to get up 15 minutes earlier, I have to put out my exercise clothes and I have to make a plan. If I just get up at my normal time, expecting to find some extra time to workout, it will never happen.

Research now tells us that shorter workouts can be just as effective as longer workouts. These workouts are called sprint workouts.

Here is an example of what I do for my workout on days when I’m short on time.

I often do my sprint workouts while I’m jogging. Instead of going for a 45 minute jog, I can accomplish the same amount of work in about 25-30 minutes. Here is what I do:

  • I walk for 5 minutes to warm up.
  • I jog at an easy pace for 1-2 minutes.
  • I then kick up the intensity for 1-2 minutes.
  • I again jog at an easy pace for 2 minutes.
  • I kick the intensity back up for 1-2 minutes.
  • I repeat this easy/high intensity pace for approximately 20 minutes.
  • My total workout time, including my warm-up is 25 minutes.

Go easy at first; you really need to have a good baseline of fitness before starting a sprint exercise program. You can make the intervals as short or as long as you are comfortable with. But I do suggest starting with a minute or less on the “hard” sprint. The easy jog should always be around 2 minutes to allow your body to recover. With this type of workout you can apply this to just about any activity; walking, jogging and swimming at this pace will build a great sprint workout.  Since this is tough on your body, limit sprint workouts to three times a week.

Click here for a research article on the sprint workouts.

Click here to find out how to design your own interval-training program. Active.com is a great site if you’d like more information on how to design your personal workouts and also information on fitness activities in your local area.

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