Don't Have Time to Work Out? Try These Short Workouts!
This is not a typical blog post for us. A while back, we stumbled on to a terrific article in The New York Times that we felt needed to be shared with our readers. The Times writer, Tara Parker-Pope, has laid out a variety of very short workouts that can be accomplished in as little as 4 minutes! In fact, she has grouped these exercises based on how much time you think you have to complete your workout. There are exercises that can be done in 4 minutes, 7 minutes or 10 minutes. They involve HIIT (high-intensity interval training) which we have written about here before.
So, if you're one of those who often finds yourself falling back on the old excuse that you "just don't have enough time to exercise," this article is deliberately designed to burst your bubble. Or, at the very least, it should demonstrate that you CAN fit a meaningful exercise routine into the most cluttered schedule. We've only reprinted a few excerpts but we encourage you to visit the entire article. We think you'll be pleasantly surprised.
Really, Really Short Workouts
by Tara Parker-Pope @nytimes
Think you’re too busy to work out? We have the short workout for you. In minutes, high-intensity interval training (H.I.I.T.) will have you sweating, breathing hard and maximizing the health benefits of exercise without the time commitment. Best of all, it’s scientifically proven to work.
Short Workouts 101
High-intensity interval training — referred to as H.I.I.T. — is based on the idea that short bursts of strenuous exercise can have a big impact on the body. If moderate exercise — like a 20-minute jog — is good for your heart, lungs and metabolism, H.I.I.T. packs the benefits of that workout and more into a few minutes. It may sound too good to be true, but learning this exercise technique and adapting it to your life can mean saving hours at the gym. If you think you don’t have time to exercise, H.I.I.T. may be the workout for you.
Got 10 Minutes?
A solitary minute of hard work buried in 10 minutes of activity can make a big difference. If you like to run, bike, row or swim — but only in small doses — this workout is a great option for you. The best part? There’s really only a total of one minute of intense exercise scattered in this 10-minute workout.
In one study, overweight, sedentary volunteers completed this 10-minute workout three times a week — for a total of 30 minutes of exercise weekly. After six weeks, the volunteers had improved their endurance by 12 percent.
Got 7 Minutes?
Grab your sneakers, a chair and a bucketful of energy for this workout sensation. With this scientifically proven exercise regimen, you will use only body weight, a chair and a wall to combine the benefits of a long run and a weight room workout into about seven minutes of steady discomfort.
Perform each exercise in rapid succession, allowing 30 seconds for each. Your intensity level should hover at around an 8 on a discomfort scale of 1 to 10, says the creator of this exercise routine, Chris Jordan, the director of exercise physiology at the Human Performance Institute in Orlando, Fla.
Yes, the seven minutes will be unpleasant, but the upside is, after seven minutes, you’re done.
Got 4 Minutes?
If you can bike, swim or run at top speed for a solid four minutes, this may be all the workout you need. If push-ups or wall sits aren’t your thing, you can still get all the benefits of H.I.I.T. with this four-minute burst of fitness.
In a study, men ran on a treadmill at 90 percent of their maximal heart rate — pretty much all out — for four minutes, three times a week for 10 weeks. Overall, this group improved their endurance, blood sugar control and blood pressure as much as a comparable group of men who did a series of all-out exercise lasting for 16 minutes.
Also, skip the drive to the gym for this workout: It’s just not time-efficient. Climb a flight of stairs for four minutes or sprint home from your bus stop. Just make sure you raise your heart rate to a pumping, air-gasping level for four minutes, three times a week.
Time Is No Excuse! Short Workouts Prove It.
As we noted at the top, these are just a few short excerpts from the original New York Times article. We encourage you to click through and read the entire thing. There's a lot of useful information on short workouts for folks who want to get fit but think they don't have the time.
RX Fitness Equipment Is Here to Help
If you find yourself looking for "reasons" not to exercise, and you'd like to discuss it with a professional, RX Fitness works with hundreds of coaches, personal trainers, and nutritionists. We'd be happy to refer you to one who can help. If you're looking for a great selection of fitness equipment and accessories of all kinds, we carry the top brands to fit every goal and budget and we're here to make your fitness routine more productive. Stop by our store in Thousand Oaks or give us a call. And don't forget to check out Tim's best-selling book, Fitness Equipment – A Shopper's Guide, available at Amazon and other online book sellers as well as in our store.
Contact Tim Adams for a free consultation or stop by the store and take something for a test drive. We’re here to help.