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Health & Fitness: Short & Sweet Workouts



By Kim Duke

NETA & AAFA Certified Trainer

A couple of my clients told me they do not read my articles because they are too long.  My knee-jerk reaction was to be annoyed, but then, I also find myself skimming articles that I find interesting, but go on and on.

So, I thought I would write an article this week that is not only short and sweet, but also, about short and sweet workouts. 

No one wants to spend their entire day in the gym to get results. Unless you make your living in the gym or on the field of play, it’s not practical or necessary. A current trend is developing that involves short workouts, and science is catching up to these time-crunched training sessions, proving that less can be more.

Short workouts, like HIIT or Tabata, can give the same amount of physiological benefit as workouts twice or three times as long. A 2006 study by Martin Gibala, a physiologist at McMaster University in Ontario, showed that a 3-minute sequence on a stationary bicycle — 30 seconds of maximal effort pedaling, followed by a brief rest, repeated five or six times — led to the same health benefits as 90 to 120 minutes of steady-state cycling.  Even taking a break at work/home to huff it up and down the stairs for 3,5 or even 10 minutes can be the extra exercise you need to get you past a fitness plateau.  Add some triceps dips and inclined push ups to your routine and you are golden. 

For this article, I Googled ‘short and sweet workouts’ and a variety of exercise ideas for all fitness levels popped up. So, if you’re lacking ideas, that’s a good place to start.  Even better, ask a professional.  If you already train at a gym or studio, do not hesitate to pick the brain of your fitness instructor or personal trainer.  Often times, these individuals can quickly give you a precise formula to fit your specific needs since they have either worked with you or know your abilities/limitations. 

Sounds great, right? Wait – what exactly are those benefits, anyways? Some of the benefits are improved endurance capacity, better blood pressure, and even a reduction in blood sugar levels after exercise.  Keeping a more consistent exercise routine will also help your waistline and help improve your overall mood.

And, remember— you can never expect to succeed if you only put in work on the days you feel like it.

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