Maximize Your Benefits, Minimize Your Time

I have been involved in fitness and wellness training for over 40 years. The most common reason, or may I use “excuse,” people give me for not exercising is time. For the majority of my 40 years of experience, I would stress the importance of finding 3-5 hours a week as imperative to the health benefits one gains. But what if now I said you could have improvements in your health and fitness similar to the conventional 3-5 hours a week by working out 30-40 minutes a week?

It’s true! The fitness business is a multi billion-dollar industry. With so much money being spent, there is always research being done to find an edge in a machine, exercise, or workout. Caution is always the word I use when it comes to the miracle machine that rolls those pounds off our bodies by merely spending a few minutes a day. I’m not trying to promote a machine or even a specific workout. The workout is called interval training. It requires you to exert yourself at your highest possible levels. It’s essential if you want the benefits of very time-efficient exercise.

So what exactly does one have to do in a 30 minute a week workout? The workout should last for 10 minutes, 3 times a week, and can be done in any particular activity you do. The activity should start with a 2 minute warm-up followed by a 20 second burst of maximum effort of the exercise. This interval can last up to a minute for someone that exercises regularly. A general rule to ensure you are reaching a high intensity level during your interval is to have difficulty talking and breathing at the end of the burst. The high intensity spurt should be followed by two-three minutes of lesser intensity (recovery time) before repeating the high intensity burst. There should be 3 bursts of intense training within the 10 minute workout. The last 2 minutes of the workout should be less intense, also known as a cool down.

Interval training, then, is an ideal way to get health-industry exercise in a short amount of time. This, by no means, is recommended over workouts that last longer. It just suggests that even something as simple as walking can be turned into an interval workout by changing up the pace throughout your course. Interval training might not be recommended for people with heart conditions, and like anyone that has led a sedentary life, check with your doctor for advice before starting any program. Remember, those short burst of activity can lead to long and healthful lives!