No Gym? No Time? No Excuses (Part II)

Well I’m back to continue this conversation!  If this is the first post you have read of mine, go back and look at THIS post to get started.  Today I’ll go into a few options for exercise both for cardiovascular health and for muscular strength (yes you need both as I’ve noted previously).

Today, personally I covered both in one shot.  Here’s what I did.  I walked.  I walked to the end of my block at a decent pace (it’s a long block, probably took me 3 minutes total to get there).  Then I started a light jog.  I jogged for a few minutes.  Then I went back to walking at a solid faster pace.  Then I jogged some more for a minute or two.  I went back to walking.  Finally I did an all out sprint for about 20 seconds before walking back to my house.  Total walking and jogging time was about 9-10 minutes and I covered just under a mile in that time.

I then got back home and did something called Tabata training.  It’s a great way to get resistance training in and cardio training at the same time.  One round of Tabata takes 4 minutes. I did two rounds (8 minutes total, with a 2 minute break in between).  I promise, it gets your heart rate up and I worked upper and lower body, as well as my core.  There are a lot of variations you can put together to ensure you work your whole body.  That’s the great thing about it.  You can get creative and do pushups, crunches, squats, planks, jogging in place, triceps dips or whatever you feel like doing.  My whole workout today took me less than 30 minutes.  Again HERE is the link to learn about Tabata work.  Start slowly with it and if you can’t complete a full 20 seconds of one of the exercises, it’s ok.  It really is.  Where you are physically isn’t near as important as where you are going and if you keep up your program, you’re going to great places.

Another option is something called the 7 Minute Workout app.  Here is a link to that program.  You can get this app for free and it holds your hand and walks you through the program.  It consists of 12 exercises that you do for 30 seconds (remember, if you can’t do 30 seconds of one or more of the exercises, just start where you are and build up).  There’s 10 seconds of rest in between each exercise and the app literally tells you out loud what is next, when to start and when to stop.  So simple!  If you get to where you can do the 7 minutes easily, move on to doing another round of the workout.

All of this can be done in your own home.  If you travel for work, these things can be done in your hotel room.  I meet several times a year with a group of chiropractors, and sometimes the 7 Minute Workout is how we kick off our day. There’s an endless supply of alternatives you can do that are out on the internet.  Variety is a key for fitness, and to keep from getting bored, which is a problem for me.  Whenever I notice I’m skipping a workout, I know that I’ve become bored with the routine and it’s time to change it up.  So, the final question is, what will you do for YOUR fitness?  Remember, start where you are.  Let me know what you end up doing!

Until next time…Be Well.

Dr. Bruce

No Gym? No Time? No Excuses! (Part I)

Seriously, there is NO excuse to not exercise as long as you are physically capable of exercising.  You may not have, nor want to have a gym membership.  That’s fine.  You may be short on time.  No worries.  You may not have any equipment to work out with.  You don’t really need any.  No excuses.

Truly, if you want to be healthy, you HAVE to find a way to move well.  You MUST fight the tendency to stay sedentary.  You WILL develop more illness and disease from not moving well.  You CAN’T be as healthy as you’re designed to be without appropriate movement.

So, how do we get it done?  It’s really easy.  It can take as little as 10-30 minutes on any given day.  I am sure you can find 10 minutes to do something for your health can’t you?  Of course you can.  Just so you know, I’ve not been in our gym that we have a membership at in over a year.  We put it on hold so that when my son is in town from college we can open it back up for him to use, but we don’t plan on using it much, if at all.  And just this morning, I had a very intense workout that I completed in under 30 minutes with NO equipment.  How?  There’s a lot to say about that, and I might take more than one blog post to get this all in, so stay tuned.

First, understand that we need both major types of exercise.  We need aerobic exercise and we need resistance training.  The great thing is, sometimes those two can be combined and I’ll show you how.  But for starters, let’s think about aerobic exercise. No, you don’t have to run or take a class.  You can just walk.  But you must walk at a pace that makes you breath hard.  When at an optimum cardio level you should maybe find it hard to carry on a conversation with someone while walking.  If you can sing the alphabet all the way through easily while walking, then you’re probably not walking fast enough.  Maybe you can only get to the end of your driveway walking like that because you’re too out of shape, that’s ok.  Do that exercise regularly, then move to walking to the end of the block, then around the block until you can do 20-30 minutes like that.  Remember, it shouldn’t feel like a leisurely stroll, though you may have to start at that level and it’s ok.  Just start where you are.

To make your walk more challenging, use the concept of intervals. After warming up by walking for 2-3 minutes at a good clip, amp it up.  In other words, walk as fast as you can for an interval.  Try for one minute of walking as fast as possible.  Then slow it down to the solid pace you were at for about 3 minutes.  Then go back to the rapid pace.  Do this for 4-8 intervals, keeping the ration of fast walking/slower walking at a 3/1 ratio.  Maybe you can only walk rapidly for 10 seconds, that’s fine.  Just make your recovery time 30 seconds before you amp it back up again.  Do that interval training for only about 20 minutes.  Interval training is more effective than regular cardio where you keep the same pace for 30-45 minutes so you need less.  Note your progress and challenge yourself to do more as you go along.

Ok, for now that’s about it, but let me suggest a free “piece of equipment” to help you in your walking.  Use the free app called “Map My Walk” on your smart phone.  It will track your distance, your time, your average pace and more.  This will help you “see” your progress, and you can “friend” people on the app for accountability and even post your results to social media.  I recommend you DO post it not only for accountability, but also to inspire others to get moving and use the app too.  Life isn’t just about ourselves, but how we can impact those around us too.  I know of several people that started using the app after I started using it and posting my walks.

There’s more to cover on this topic overall, but it will have to wait til next post!

Until next time….Be Well!

Dr. Bruce