In Exercise

Short on Time?

This time of year exercise and fitness usually stays for those who really have made it a lifestyle. Yet, if you’ve had several obstacles strung together or a lot of travel or meetings disrupting your usual routine even the best of us get off track if we miss several days in a row. Here’s one fun way to cope and make this month still one that gives you traction toward your goals. I’ve oddly always found December to be an inspired exercise month. I love uplifted spirits and child-like twinkle in everyone’s eyes. I struggle more in January with the threat of more months of winter and no holiday fun!

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Play the 20-minute exercise block game with me. Here’s how it works you can use 20 minutes of time any way you want to use it. You still need to plan your exercise with hard days, easy days, and off days. During these busy times though using short blocks of time is a mental game that helps you win the physical season. If you know you only have 20 minutes its a lot easier to focus. If you’re feeling like you want to get the most out of it instead of you have all the time in the world you’re so much more likely to enjoy it. It reframes the whole experience.

Here’s how an hour might look:

20 of cardio

20 of yoga

20 of strength training

But that’s just one option.

You can do 60 minutes of any one activity. You can split your exercise up in different times of day.

You can do 20 minutes of intervals, 20 minutes of strength, and later in the day do 20 minutes of yoga (or a combination of core and stretching).

Just plan your exercise intention and purpose for each 20 minutes.

If you’re focused on making the most of 20 minutes your time will fly.  You also will make the absolute most of it.

Have you noticed as you have an hour to workout you tend to chat away or approach it with far less intensity and focus?

When you play this mental game you will tend to make every minute count and each exercise and repetition, be it an interval or a weight lifting exercise, you’re focused and more effective.

20+20+20

20+40

40+20

20 only

40 only

60 – ideally this is lower intensity aerobic activity, yoga or a longer more complete strength training session with an adequate warm up, core work, and cool down of a little more length

e.g.

5 minute cardio movement

5 minute leg swings or functional movement

10 minutes of Leg, Push, Pull exercises in rotation x 3

10 minutes of new leg, push, pull exercises in rotation x 3

10 minutes of biceps, triceps, shoulder exercises x 2 and any corrective ex.

10 minutes of core exercises and balance exercises

10 minutes of light cardio cool down

I do get asked what I do. So here’s literally what I’ve done in the last two days because of some tight scheduling.

Yesterday I had an early appointment so I did 20 minutes of intervals on the treadmill before 7am. Then I snuck in 20 minutes of an aerobic break from my home office at noon before lunch. At the end of the afternoon while the fish was baking I did 20 minutes of yoga.

This morning was another early one. I got in 40 minutes total of treadmill and core. I hope to lift weights for 20 minutes this evening but there’s a pile of work waiting on me and a snowy drive between me and the club that tells me it isn’t the best use of my time today.

Cheers to your intervals! Are you in? Do you need a December game for fitting it in?

~Debra


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