There are reasons why I continue to lose weight with as little as 20 minutes of exercise a day. A lot of people think that in order to lose weight you need to become a slave to cardio. I see a lot of people at the gym on the elliptical or the treadmill for an hour or more! A lot of them have a pretty decent pace going, but others might be lazily slugging their feet along staring blankly at the barrage of TVs or reading up on the latest celebrity news. BORING! Not only does that sound less than appealing, but it eats up a lot of time and is not as effective as you might think.
More and more people are realizing the benefits of high intensity interval training (HIIT) and changing their workouts because of it. Now – I’m not a machine. The stuff I do with health and fitness isn’t CrAzy, it’s realistic. For example, I try to run every day on my lunch break at work. I usually hit up the treadmill for about 10 minutes running from 7mph with 20-30 second bursts up to 10mph (depending on how I’m feeling). But a little over a year ago I could barely even run at 5.5 mph. I started walking. I’ll usually also do lots of push ups, stretches, and a variety of other exercises. This is my baseline workout, meaning if I don’t make the effort to get up at 5am that day or hit the gym after work, at least I’ve done something.
Not only does running this way work to improve my mile time but it also shifts my heart rate and creates constant changes for my body to adapt to. It’s also important to incorporate resistance training into your workouts. Let’s say you go run 5 miles, awesome, you’ve burned a good chunk of calories. But once you stop running, you also stop burning calories. This is why resistance training is key. I’m a big fan of using my own body weight – stuff like planks, push ups, leg lifts, and squats are always incorporated into my routine. You’d be AMAZED at how much just push ups alone can do for your body! Bodyrock has some great at home workouts you can do (most workouts are 12 minutes or less) and they incorporate both interval and resistance training.
Just look at it this way – if you’ve got 15 minutes, heck, if you’ve got 10, you’ve got enough time to break a sweat and workout. No matter what fitness level you’re at, if you’re consistent with something, anything, it will work over time. I promise.