Thursday, May 14, 2009

Overwhelmed By Workout Length? Then Break It Up!

If your face is bawling at the recommendations of 30 to 60 minutes of daily exercise to lose weight, stay healthy and maintain fitness, you're not alone -- I was right there too, especially a few years ago when I began exercising. And one of the best things I did to make it more manageable was breaking it up into shorter segments. Sometimes it'll be 20 minutes in morning, 30 minutes after work -- or maybe three 15 segments throughout the day, and if I'm feeling particularly energetic I'll do the whole 60-90 minutes in one go.

And I always try to squeeze in at least a little in the morning soon after waking up, since I would've already felt like I made progress and will more likely continue to make healthful choices throughout the day.

Some people may feel better with a single continuous long routine and just get it over with in one fell swoop, I'd rather do it in two or three segments that's more manageable and not so overwhelming ("OMG, I got an HOUR of running PLUS strength training?") And breaking it up makes it easier to work around my schedule. And before I knew it, those daunting exercises became habit and I could do longer routines with less effort because I am becoming more fit. But when pressed for time, I still fall back on those multiple short segments. It's definitely better than not being able to exercise because I can't carve an hour out.


Diana said...

I meant to comment about this the other day, but it completely slipped my mind!

I used to be of the "one fell swoop" mentality, but when I started my current job a year and a half ago, I realized that if I ever wanted to sleep in past 6 am, I'd have to break some of my work outs up. A couple days a week I'll do some cardio in the morning (30-40 minutes) and then go to an hour-long strength training class after work. A lot of people think that I'm crazy and super "hard core," but I actually think it makes it a lot more manageable and less daunting than trying to do it all at once. Plus, it makes the days when I just do cardio seem like a piece of cake! :)

H. C. said...

I think what's considered hardcore and slacking is very self-relative; I used to think even half an hour a day for five days is hardcore, now that's more of a slackjob for me. I guess dependent on the person's frame of reference. But hey, I've been on both the sedentary and the active sides so can totally empathize with either end of the spectrum.