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30 Minute Workouts
When One Hour Is Too Much to Ask
OK, a show of hands please. How many of you made a New Year's resolution to get in shape and lose a little weight in the process? You're not alone. According to a recent study by the GNC nutrition store chain, 50% of those polled said that their resolution was to exercise more, with 38% stating that they needed to lose a few pounds.
Now, it's no secret how these resolutions turn out. Everyone tends to do well during the month of January; but by February, the majority of people have reverted back to their old ways. According to the same GNC study, only 20% actually stick with their plan for an entire year. So, if you're one of those people whose resolution is to get in shape, what are you going to do differently than before? Here's a suggestion. How about a shorter workout?
It's a common sense approach since most people don't have several hours in their day to dedicate to exercise. In fact, an hour may even be a stretch. One solution is to figure out different workout routines, options if you will, ranging anywhere from a half hour to 40 minutes. Here are a few suggestions to help get you moving in the right direction. (Please Note: Always be sure to check with your doctor prior to beginning a new exercise routine!)
The Walk/Run Combo (40 minutes)
The first step is to strap an old watch to your wrist. This way you know the exact amount of time that has elapsed. Head out for a run through your neighborhood, and, as soon as you hit the 15 minute mark, turn back. Like magic, you'll be home in a half hour. Spend an additional five minutes stretching, and you're done. The entire workout has only taken 40 minutes out of your day!
Once again, this technique works well for power-walkers and for interval running. Interval running is nothing more than alternating walking with running for specific amounts of time. Start with one minute of walking followed by one minute of running and so on, until you reach 30 minutes. As you get stronger, increase the amount of running time and decrease (if you wish) the amount of walking time.
Circuit Training (30 minutes + possible drive time to a gym)
Start by picking one exercise for each body part. For example, bench press for chest, military press for shoulders, curls for biceps, sit-ups for stomach, etc. Set them up in your desired order and that becomes your "circuit." Do one set of each exercise and without resting, continue on to the next exercise. Once you've completed the circuit, rest for 3 minutes and do it again. Concentrate on using lighter weights and keeping your repetitions in the 12 to 15 range. If you get through each circuit in 8 minutes, and you rest for 3 minutes in between, your total workout time is 30 minutes. Add a few minutes for stretching, and you're toned and ready to face the world.
Half Hour Workout Tapes and DVDs (30 minutes)
DVD workouts are good for people who travel, people who are subjected to inclement weather, and as a back up for those days when you just don't feel like leaving the house. No matter what your favorite type of exercise is, you can find it on DVD. Yoga, Pilates, weight training, aerobics, and so on; they can all be found either at your local video store or online at a website like www.amazon.com.
Play a Sport (30 to 45 minutes)
The downside to this type of workout, however, is it usually requires either another participant or specific equipment. Make sure you really like the sport before investing too much time, energy, or money into making it part of your regular workout.
The Anywhere Workout (10 to 30 minutes)
Start by stretching for a full 10 minutes. This should be vigorous stretching where you hold each stretch for 20 seconds. After that, if you feel up to it, spend the next 10 minutes alternating sets of push-ups and various forms of sit-ups (classic sit-ups, crunches, twists, etc.). If you still have the time and energy, then do several intervals with a jump rope. This underrated cardiovascular exercise can travel anywhere, and it will work wonders on your calves.
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