Keeping your workout short and sweet

You can actually reach an optimal fitness level in just 20-30 minutes of planned movement, a few times per week, says Tanja Shaw.

Keeping fit does not require a lot of time

Keeping fit does not require a lot of time

As I write this, it’s 6:20 a.m., and I just returned from my morning workout.  From start to finish, it took me 27 minutes.  I love exercise, but mostly because of how I feel after the workout is over.   Whether I workout for an hour, or 27 minutes, I experience the same post-workout benefits: I feel energized, alert, focused, strong, happy, motivated and excited for the day.  Because of the increased clarity, creativity and productivity you get with a sweat session, I will also write this article in record time.

The point I want to make is that keeping fit does not require a lot of time.  I’m not just saying that some is better than none, but that you can actually reach an optimal fitness level in just 20-30 minutes of planned movement, a few times per week.

This morning for example, I did about seven minutes of warm up exercises to get my heart rate up and increase my range of motion.  For the workout, I set my interval times (I use, and highly recommend, the Simple Interval Timer app on my iPhone) for one minute and 15 seconds.  In that time I did five burpees with weight, five squats with weight and five rows or pulls.  I rested until the one minute and 15 seconds was up, and went through the circuit 10 times.  To finish off, I did a few minutes of bridging (the exercise where you lay on your back with your knees bent and lift your hips off the ground).  Finally, I stretched.

While any movement is better than nothing, getting the most out of your workout time takes some planning.  Here are six tips to get fit in record time:

1. Focus on strength exercises.  Strength exercises, especially done at heavy loads or in a circuit will get your heart rate up and also stress the cardiovascular system.  You will get the benefits of a higher metabolic rate, stronger muscles, better posture, and a fit cardiovascular system.

2. Do multi-joint exercise to get the highest return on investment.   In other words, skip the thigh machine and opt for squats, lunges, pushes and pulls.

3. Use your rest time wisely.  While you recover between exercises, do light range of motion, core or balance exercises.  For example, you can do bridging, single leg balance, or trunk rotations.

4. Plan your workout ahead of time.  If you don’t have a plan, you’ll likely spend some of your precious workout time wondering what to do, procrastinating, and frankly, wasting your time.

5. Think quality over quantity.  Focus on what you’re doing and make the most out of it.  Focus on what muscles you’re using, and keep the chatter in your brain geared toward motivating yourself to work hard.  Avoid distractions and time-suckers like checking your email or Facebook.

6. Be honest with your ability.  If you’re new to exercise, ease into it.  If you’re a seasoned gym goer, make sure to challenge yourself.  Sometimes we get complacent and lift the same weights over and over again because it’s comfortable.  There’s nothing wrong with maintaining, but if you want to improve, it may be time to kick things up a notch.  Not all workouts need to be hard, but when you’ve planned a training session, see if you can up the ante.  Can you lift slightly heavier?  Can you do a more advanced version of an exercise?  Just be sure not to sacrifice form.  Doing a harder exercise incorrectly is not the goal!

Here’s a short circuit you could try to get started:

1. 8-15 squats (carry weights to increase intensity)

2. 8- 15 push-ups (wall, knees or floor)

3. 8-15 rows or pull-ups (use a band or machine for the row)

Rest 30-60 seconds (practice a single leg balance at this time)

Repeat 3-8 times.

Whether you are busy and don’t have much time to workout, or simply don’t want to spend a lot of your time working out, you can get the benefits of exercise in very little time.   Plan your workouts, focus on basic strength movements and enjoy the benefits of a fit, healthy you!

 

Tanja Shaw is a healthy-eating enthusiast, Rotarian, passionate entrepreneur, mom, runner, and owner of Ascend Fitness Inc. Tanja and her team of expert fitness coaches inspire and educate Chilliwack residents to make positive and power changes in their lives through physical fitness and sound nutrition.  Visit Tanja  at www.ascendfitnesscoaching.com and www.tanjashaw.com.

Just Posted

Chilliwack’s Jordyn Huitema, a member of the Canadian national women’s soccer squad.
Another scoreless draw for Chilliwack’s Jordyn Huitema and Canadian national women’s soccer squad

Canada played Brazil to a 0-0 tie days after doing the same in a friendly against the Czech Republic

FVRD surveyed public opinion on cannabis production and processing in the electoral areas. Odour and distance from residential areas were the top concerns. (Black Press file)
Cannabis production and processing rules being drafted by Fraser Valley Regional District

Data from public opinion survey will be used to guide cannabis-related land use

Robert Nelson, 35, died after being stabbed at a homeless camp in Abbotsford on April 7 of this year.
Mom pleads for information about son’s killing at Abbotsford homeless camp

Robert Nelson, 35, described as ‘man who stood for justice, honour, respect’

Chilliwack firefighters watch as an O’Connor Towing operator removes a stolen Volkswagen station wagon from the Fraser River off Cannor Road in west Chilliwack on June 13, 2021. (William Snow photo)
PHOTOS: Stolen vehicle dumped in Fraser River in Chilliwack Sunday

Search and Rescue determined there was no one inside the car found upside down off Cannor Road

Police arrest the suspect in an attempted armed bank robbery on June 2 at the Scotiabank at Gladwin Road and South Fraser Way in Abbotsford. (Photo by Garry Amyot)
Abbotsford bank robbery suspect who was stopped by customers faces more charges

Neil Simpson now faces total of eight charges, up from the initial two

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. watching U.K.’s COVID struggles but don’t think province will see similar pitfalls

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

David and Collet Stephan leave for a break during an appeal hearing in Calgary on Thursday, March 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Appeal Court rejects stay for Alberta couple facing third trial in son’s death

Pair accused in their earlier trials of not seeking medical attention for their son sooner

Most Read