By Derek Alberto
If I had a dollar for every time I heard the excuse, “I don’t have time to exercise,” I would certainly have a lot more money than I do now. We all lead busy lives. We all have 24 hour days. People who exercise don’t necessarily have more time than others, they’ve just determined that what they’re getting out of exercise is worth more than whatever else they could do during that time (sleeping, grabbing drinks with friends, watching TV).
Making time for exercise, even if it’s just 10 or 20 minutes at a time, is your first step to making it a permanent part of your life. If you want to accommodate exercise into your busy schedule, you must make it a priority! One of the biggest mistakes many people make is allowing their scheduled workout to be bumped off of their schedule too easily. Don’t know where to begin? No problem! Give Prescriptions for Fitness a call at 914 238-0500, and I will be happy to put together a personalized fitness program tailored to your needs and goals.
For those short workouts, try interval training. When it comes to burning fat, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is one of the most effective ways to do so. HIIT involves intervals of exercise followed by intervals of low intensity exercise or complete rest. Numerous studies have found that those who performed HIIT burned significantly more body fat–and in less time–than those who did steady-state cardio programs.
Interval periods can be conveniently timed using various smartphone apps, an inexpensive interval timer, or stop watch. Experiment with interval durations. Examples of interval periods are: 20 seconds exercise/10 seconds rest, 30 seconds exercise/15 seconds rest, 60 seconds exercise/60 seconds rest, etc.
The major reason HIIT works so well for dropping body fat is due to the greater calorie burn (or EPOC–excess post-exercise oxygen consumption) that’s maintained after the workout is over. In other words, you burn more calories and more body fat while you’re sitting around doing nothing. The body generally takes anywhere from 15 minutes to 48 hours to fully recover to a resting state. As exercise intensity increases, the magnitude and duration of EPOC increase.
Still don’t think you have time to exercise? Perhaps then it’s time to look at your priorities and responsibilities. Of course we all have obligations to others, but don’t forget about the obligation you have to yourself to take care of your body and your health!
Remember, exercise gives you energy and keeps you healthy to keep going in that busy life of yours! So don’t think of exercise as another to-do to squeeze in on your already busy schedule. Instead, think of it as maintenance for your health and a way to de-stress and do something for you! Don’t forget to visit us on the web at prescriptionsforfitness.net and “Like” us on Facebook.
Derek Alberto, ACSM Certified Personal Trainer, Health Education M.S.Ed., has been training men, women, and children of all ages and abilities for over three years at Prescriptions for Fitness.