“Time is what we want most, but what we use worst,” William Penn. I’m sure you have heard one of my least favorite exercise myths that has been circulating in popular culture. That you must spend hours at the gym to get in great shape. We all buy into it at some point and eventually we resign ourselves to never being able to reach our fitness goals. So, we tend to give up on ourselves. Well, let me say this, STOP BELIEVING THIS MYTH. Stop it right now. Getting in shape (not to be confused with losing weight, mind you) doesn’t have to take a really long time. There’s a great deal of new research that shows a healthy exercise regimen doesn’t mean spending hours at the gym every single day. One study conducted by researchers at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada and published in the March 2012 edition of the Journal of Physiology showed that even 20 minutes per day can be all you need.
There is a catch though, you need to ramp up the intensity of your workout in order to get the great results. Interval training is a great way to cut down on the length of your workouts and get results in less time, but it requires more effort. That means, NO GIVING UP because the workout just got a little tougher. Start slowly, and find works for you between intensity and time. If you have an hour to spare every day, use it instead of killing yourself cramming your exercise into a half-hour. If you can handle a super-intense half-hour workout, go for it!
The bottom line is, repeated exercise has great health benefits, but if you don’t think you can fit in a workout every single day for the rest of your life, that’s no reason not to go for a walk today. Even a half-hour walk can make a big difference. When I first started my weight loss and exercise regimen, I made a promise to myself that I would do at least ½ hour every other day. I would jog sometimes, do weights, walk, or run the bleachers, anything, as long as I was being active. Guess what, 17yrs later, I am still in the health and exercise mode. I did not take a short term look at my health, but a long term approach so I could maintain it. So, start slow, pick some fun things to do, and make a commitment to at least 20 minutes. It may just change your life. J