When you ask someone how much time they really have to work out each week, they often say anywhere from six to eight hours. I know – this sounds like a lot. And when it comes to a strength training program, you wouldn’t want to train that often anyway.
So it’s important to look realistically at how often you can train: that is, the amount of time you actually will train. You say you can work out starting at 5 a.m., but will you do it? Even if you don’t have other pressing engagements at the crack of dawn, it might be tortuous for you to start exercising at that hour. You may have time to work out before dinner on the way home from school, but will you be fueled and energized?
That’s not to say that you should use these situations as an excuse, but it’s important to be honest about the best times for your workouts. Keep in mind that everyone is time-crunched, both students and those already in the workforce. Once out of college you’re oftentimes beginning a career that demands long hours. And once you have kids you discover the true meaning behind “time-crunched” and “sleep-deprived.” But this is just a fact of life – it doesn’t have to mean you can’t be fit and healthy.
The difference between those who reach their fitness goals and those who don’t is that some people are consistent and follow through – and others don’t.
And that is the bottom line.
It’s well-known now that exercise is just as beneficial in small chunks (10 to 15 minutes at a time) as longer sessions. According to the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition:
Adults should get at least two and a half hours (150 minutes) each week of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity. You need to do this type of activity for at least 10 minutes at a time as intervals shorter than this do not have the same health benefits. Adults should also do strengthening activities, like push-ups, sit-ups and lifting weights, at least two days a week.”
For weight loss, focus on cleaning up your diet while getting the required amount of exercise. Remember, you can’t out-train a bad diet – exercise alone won’t help you lose weight. However, exercise is crucial for maintaining weight loss.
Who doesn’t have 10 minutes? The increased energy you’ll have for your daily demands is enough benefit alone, not to mention your increased heart/lung health and calorie burn.
Check out these ideas for your 10- or 20-minute workouts:
- Focus on full-body movements in those 10 minutes instead of isolating individual muscles
- Jump rope
- Brisk walk, run, or sprints
- Circuit of jumping jacks, pushups, and mountain climbers
- Circuit of burpees, bodyweight squats, and crunches
- Circuit of planks, walking lunges, and jump squats
- Tabata, a 4-minute workout
- Bring a resistance band with you for quick rows, chest presses, shoulder presses, or any other strength training exercise. Use mini-bands or regular bands.
- Shooting hoops
- Do high-intensity interval training (HIIT)
- Do only chunks of this portable workout: A Killer Full-Body Workout Using Only Your Body Weight
As you can see, anyone has time for exercise. Questions? Hit me up! I offer online personal training programs and I also train clients in the Denver area.