Back to Basics: A little is better than nothing

Last year I got into this rut: if I didn’t have an hour (or more) to exercise, then I just wouldn’t do it. In my mind I had created this belief that if I didn’t burn at least 500 calories per exercise session than it just wasn’t worth doing.

I realize that that’s crap (for a couple of reasons).

1) there are a lot of exercises that are great for you that don’t take an hour and have nothing to do with actual calories burned – such as High Intensity Interval Training exercises, which are currently all the rage but that I hate with a purple passion and therefore will not do so it doesn’t matter how effective they are) or even just Kettle Bell Swings (ala Tim Ferris, author of the Four Hour Body). Both of these forms of exercise – and I am sure there are others – elevate heart rate (that’s why they’re called High Intensity) and build muscle, which causes you to burn more calories all day long – even while you’re sleeping. Can’t beat that.

2) and even more simple than that, 30 minutes of exercise (even if it’s just 200 calories burned the old fashion way) is better than no minutes of exercise (and 0 calories burned). That’s just simple math. And it doesn’t take into consideration the psychological benefits of exercise – the increased mood (studies show that mood is elevated for up to 12 hours after exercise!), the sense of accomplishment that keeps many people, myself included, from eating unhealthily after exercising, and the joy that comes from living up to your self-promises. It also can provide an important degree of structure to one’s day – especially if it’s done at a regularly scheduled time. And it helps you sleep better, which also helps you to stop storing fat. Again, can’t beat that.

So, this year, I’ve ditched my self-defeating belief that I have to workout for a certain length of time or burn a certain number of categories. And I’m just moving my body. Six days a week – with one day off.

So far, this is the workout, but it’s subject to change:

M. W. F.:
30 minutes cardio (the old fashion Nordic Track ski machine is my current activity of choice)
30 Kettle Bell Swings (20lb bell)
20 Butt lifts
30 Kettle Bell Swings (20lb bell)
30 Pointers (or whatever it is that you call that yoga pose where you start on your hands and knees and extend opposite arms and legs).

T. Th. Sa.:
30 minutes cardio
60 air squats
60 wall pushups
60 chest pulls
front plank 2×30 sec
left side plant 2×30 sec
right side plank 2×30 sec

Day off or yoga

I’m not burning many calories, but I am seeing some definition in my stomach again.

And on the days that I over sleep, I’ll reduce the cardio, because – as noted – 10 minutes is better than no minutes.

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: