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Why Your Resolution Falls Short

January is busy for those of us in the fitness business because it is a time when so many people are making resolutions and goals related to getting in shape. Those plans are well intentioned. However, few follow through. I think the reason people are not always successful in keeping their fitness resolutions is because they lack a certain understanding. Let me explain.

For example, say this year you want to become the healthiest version of yourself. Great! You make plans to exercise, walk more, eat right, and so on. Good enough, right? Rarely is that good enough. The way you look is 60% what you eat, 30% how you workout and 10% genetics.

Now, let me focus on the workout portion since that is what I do.

I might ruffle some feathers with the following statement, but it needs to be said. Walking is not exercise. Webster defines exercise as “physical activity that is done in order to become stronger and healthier.” God created us to walk so that we can get from point A to point B. Now, that being said, there is an exception to every rule, so if you’re 85 years old or 9 months pregnant, I will give you a pass and say that walking could make you stronger or healthier.

However, for the majority of 18-75 year old people in Saline County, walking will not cut it. When you exercise, you need to get your heart rate up and break down your muscles. That means at some point of your workout (only a point, not the entire time) it should be difficult to talk.

8 out of 10 Americans over the age of 25 are overweight. Is this you? If so, start paying attention. To lose weight, it is recommended that you exercise FIVE times a week for 45 minutes or more. Why 45 minutes? Because after 30 minutes of exercise your body quits burning the food you have just eaten and switches to burning fat. That’s right! After 30 minutes of working out your body burns! Is this not the most exciting news?

For weight loss, your workouts should include interval training. Interval training is where you have short bursts of high intensity work followed by periods of rest. You do this over and over again throughout the workout session. Interval training can be any workout where you work so hard that your heart rate skyrockets and then you recover by either taking a break or strength training. These workouts will torch calories. Any fitness class that includes cardio and strength training would be considered interval training. Jillian Michaels and P90X are well known examples.

One of the most common questions I get from clients is, “What workout do you recommend for me to do at home?” I always explain the concept and reasons behind interval training. My go-to workout is simple and free.

You will run hard for 30 seconds and recover for 60 seconds. The basis is that your heart rate gets elevated which means something entirely different for each person. An out of shape person’s heart rate will get very high jogging for 30 seconds, while someone who is more fit will need to sprint all out for the same 30 seconds.

Start with five rounds and work your way up to ten rounds. I love this workout because anyone can do it.

Benefits of Interval Training

  • It increases the after-burn effect. This means that post workout, your body is burning extra calories for a full hour while recovering.
  • Even though interval workouts can be shorter than your long run or walk, it will actually increase your endurance.
  • It targets belly fat. Fast paced workouts help your body release fat-burning hormones that target belly fat specifically.

Take a chance. Get out of your comfort zone. You will never change if you do not try something new. After all, that’s what this time of year is about!