I hope your last weekend of Stampede was awesome! To continue with the fitness myths series, I have one more myth to debunk for you: “you have to spend a lot of time exercising if you want to see the results in fitness.”
Time is always a touchy subject. We all have the same amount of it, but how we invest it makes the biggest difference.
The overriding perception is that you have to spend at least an hour working out for it to matter.
I can’t count the number of people who say to me “Of course, you are in shape. Fitness is your job. You have the time to spend hours in the gym each day.”
After I regain my composure from the hilarity of such a statement, I explain that I have the same challenges as every other working professional. I have two kids in a variety of extracurricular activities, a working spouse, run a multi-division business, and have several hobby projects (of which spending time in the gym is NOT one of them).
In fact, other than my mountain bike rides (which are sadly too rare this year), I rarely exercise for more than 30 minutes at a time.
I will be the first to tell you that there is definitely no magic bullet to fitness success. You still have to do the work to get great results in fitness.
However, WHAT you do, and the WAY you do it is much more important than HOW LONG you spend doing it.
There are many studies that show how as little as 15-20 minutes of activity can be highly effective. The even better news is that these minutes can be split up throughout the day.
As I mentioned in the first myth-busting post, a few minutes of purposeful activity at regular intervals throughout the day will make a tremendous difference in your health, vitality, moods, motivation, and fitness level.
This is particularly true if you aren’t active. Doing almost anything will produce improvements. If you are active and fit already, work on increasing your intensity during short exercise sessions.
Intensity can be great, but only if your body is ready for it.
This includes doing a proper warm-up and ensuring that your body is physically ready for the added intensity. Don’t fall into the HIIT or Crossfit trap.
While these approaches can be great, often those starting out on (or getting back into) a fitness plan look for high-intensity exercise options that will “make them sweaty and sore”. The problem is that they often end up injuring themselves because the intensity, their exercise technique, or both were incorrect for their needs.
Intervals are a great way to begin increasing your intensity of exercise, but they don’t have to be full-out. Any temporary increase above your baseline level can be called an interval. Start small, build slowly, and stay consistent with your exercise frequency. You will notice tremendous differences.
Remember, 1 minute of movement, activity, or exercise is better than zero minutes!
String a few of these together at various points in the day and you will be well ahead of those people slogging away.
I’ve said it before, so won’t dwell on it here, but it’s important to ensure you are moving CORRECTLY before increasing your volume of exercise.
Enroll in our Movement Foundations Course and learn how to perform foundational movements correctly to maximize the benefits of your workouts and daily activities.
Get help, hire a coach…or buy my book, it lays out all 7 Primal Movement Patterns with pictures and descriptions.
It will be the best investment you make in your movement quality…and overall health.