Time is what we want most, but what we use worse. –William Penn
We all know that physical activity is a major part of living longer. What gets in the way is how we allocate our time to perform any exercise whether that be weight training, walking, gardening, etc. We all have the same 24 hours in a day, 168 hours in a week. For some 45 hours/week for work plus commuting. Another 42 hours/week for sleep. Approximately 11 hours of eating. Watch TV for about 17 hours. So that’s about 115 hours of time taken.?There’s much more time suckers. Want more click here. The point is that we have to make a conscious decision to put aside at least 30 minutes a day to decrease mortality rate: live longer. And for most it becomes an after-thought and then we waste more time on wishful thinking. So let’s dive into ways that we can get the most out of our daily workouts.
Yeah, we’ve heard these all before: take the stairs instead of the elevator, get off one stop before your usual stop, take a walk on your lunch break, yada-yada-yada! Well, these are standard ways to get the most out of your daily workouts. Remember, you want to clock in at least 30 minutes a day so breaking up that time is probably more realistic and you can still reap the benefits. A great tool to use is a pedometer. This is a portable device that you clip onto your belt, pocket and it will record all your steps. Of course, you can download an app for Android?or iPhone. Here’s a goal: 10,000 steps is the equivalent to 5 miles. Sounds like a lot but you’ll be amazed on how much you walk on a daily basis.?
Recording your daily activities is a great way to keep you accountable and track your progress. However, it can be time consuming and again, you have to set aside a certain amount of time to write. For the goal of 10,000 steps/day, a log book is a start. Break up the goal into manageable parts. First week, shoot for the 10,000 step mark so that breaks down to about 1,428 steps/day which is about?? of a mile (.27). That’s totally doable? You can also set 5,000 steps (under 1 mile) Monday-Friday and 5,000 steps Saturday and Sunday. Write in your logbook your goal then set out your ultimate macro goal of 10,000 steps a day sometime in the near future like in a month or 6 weeks.
The best way to get the best out of your workout is to leverage technology to assist you in making your workout efficient. The biggest players in this field are the?fitness wearables, i.e, fitbits, jawbones, garmin’s, etc. You use them as a bracelet, a watch, and now even smart clothing can track your movements and record your vitals! Most will come with their own app (more on this down below) so you can sync with your smartphone and home computer, laptop. Then you can see your daily, weekly, monthly activity and be amazed at the great eye-candy from all the colorful graphs and feedback. Bingo! A glorified pedometer and log book all wrapped up in technology.?
About 65% of Americans have a smartphone and in the workplace, I’m sure that number is higher. There are smartphones with built-in heart rate, blood pressure monitors.?Another?greeat?way to get the best?out of your daily workouts is to use an application either for iPhone or Android (yes, Windows too but they are so far behind). But there’s more to just pedometers and heart rate monitors. I am an Android user so the apps that I will discuss are for the Android operating system. A wonderful app to make your workouts more efficient is called 7 Minute Workout. The workouts are ?base on HICT (high intensity circuit training) that was proved the most ?safe, effective, and efficient? way to improve your muscular and aerobic fitness, and make you healthier. Another, which is my favorite is called Sworkit. You set the amount of activity from 5 minutes to 60 minutes. You choose from Strength, Cardio, Yoga/Pilates, or Stretch. There are videos to show you how to perform everything! Sworkit syncs with all the major wearables. This one is a true game changer! Here are some more: 30 Day Fit Challenges, Daily Workouts, Fitness & Bodybuilding.
THE TRIED & TRUE
Old School Training
OK so maybe you’re not into technology or maybe you don’t want to carry around a pedometer and use a log book. How can you get the most out of your workouts at home, in the gym, outdoors? The key words to focus on are Circuits using Compound/Complex Movements with medium weight at a relatively medium to high intensity. OK, that was more of a statement. Even better! But what does that mean? Let’s break down what each term means first. Circuits: A workout that consists of 3-10 ‘stations’ that work different muscle groups with little or no rest in between. (Stations are either a machine, a particular movement, like a squat or push up). Compound Movements: movements that require more than one joint or muscle groups. For example, a chest press utilizes the shoulder and elbow joint. A squat utilizes the hip and knee joints. Medium Weight: this can be classified as resistance that you are able to perform 8-15 repetitions with correct form. Medium to High Intensity: creating oxygen debt which means that you are breathing laboriously but not to the point of exhaustion. Okay so now that we got that out of the way, let’s continue with an time-efficient workout. We’ll start with a basic movement template:
- Push/Press Movement
- Pull/Row Movement
- Hip/Knee Movement
- Anti-Rotation (Core)
Now here’s how you can proceed:
- Push-up, Chest Press, Shoulder Press
- Pulldown. Seated Row, Bent Row
- Squat, Lung, Deadlifts
- Kneeling Pallof Press, Stir the Pot
- Front, Side, Posterior Reach?
So in the above example we have 5 movements in the circuit. Complete 2-5 rounds of 8-15 reps each with little or no rest. Strive to complete the whole workout in 30 minutes. Use this as a measure of progress. At first give yourself time to learn the movements properly and safely. Allow your body/neurological system to learn the movement patterns then you can turn up the intensity. Go for mastery! Yes, you can change exercises but as long as they follow the push/pull/legs protocol.?
So there it is. I hope I’ve provided practical ways to get the most out of your workouts especially in efficient but challenging ways. We all share the same amount of hours in a given day, week, month, year. It’s how we plan to allocate those hours to include physical activity. The toughest part is the first step, the commitment. ?Like in the previous post about diet success, follow the steps on a consistent basis and you find yourself stronger, healthier, fitter with more vitality. Father time may be undefeated but we all must strive not to go down without our best efforts.?
Take care and always be the better than before!