If you think good exercise is 30 minutes a day of the same routine, consider why your local gym is full of people who can’t seem to lose those extra pounds.
For some reason, the “consistency is king” motto runs rampant in the gym. People trudge away doing the “same old, same old” at the gym and nothing ever changes. Everyone still looks the same and feels the same. Although they may be burning calories, their bodies still lack definition. Why is this?
Bodies are not designed to do the same activity every day. They quickly adapt to this and learn how to use less energy to do the same 30–60 minutes of chugging away at the treadmill, elliptical, or stationary bike. Just like the Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demand (SAID) principle states, your body adapts to the stressors placed on it over time, making it more difficult to achieve results with the same old routine. Don’t waste your time on the same old, same old. Diversify your workout portfolio. Excessive aerobic exercise increases your desire for carbohydrates to fuel the muscles because they have been depleted of glucose.
It is important to be well rounded physically, which means you can run fast for an emergency, lift heavy stuff if you need to, and participate in hiking, skiing, sports, mowing the lawn, and gardening. Basically, you need to have the fitness level to perform anything you want to do, without your lack of fitness holding you back.
The single thing that comes close to a magic bullet, in terms of its strong and universal benefits, is exercise.
– Frank Hu, epidemiologist at Harvard School of Public Health
Fresh Ideas to Extend Your Expiration Date
Exercise doesn’t have to be a drag. Studies have shown exercise can enhance your quality of life. It is not only something that can benefit you in the long term, the mental and physical health benefits can start today. In order to be functionally diverse, you need to include a cardio portion in your physical exercise with interval or sprint training and strength training. Yoga can be a great addition to your weekly routine as it is beneficial for both the body and the mind.
Weekly Activity Plan:
- Two days of strength training. It doesn’t have to take long: 20–30 minutes max. Don’t stop for rests. Incorporate full body movements of pushing, pulling, and lifting: squats, lunges, push-ups, pull-ups, tricep dips, and overhead lifts. Don’t perform machine bicep curls or machine tricep extensions, which only work one isolated muscle. Do a few sets of body movements at a quick pace until you’re fatigued but not injured. Engage your whole body, and you will get more benefit out of your exercise. Every life activity outside of the gym uses a myriad of muscles, so why work one at a time? You will get more benefit for your time and your fitness level if you work them all at once.
- Three days of intervals. Go as fast as you can for one minute, rest for two minutes and repeat four to eight times. Your total exercise time will be 12–24 minutes. Exercises to choose from include biking (indoor and outdoor), running, elliptical, swimming, stair running, jumping rope, climbing the StairMaster, and sprinting up hills. Find what works best for you. Some say to sprint for 30 seconds and then rest for four minutes and repeat five times. There isn’t a magical number. Do what feels right for your body. How many repetitions and the actual intensity will vary based on your physical fitness level. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, more calories are burned in short, high-intensity exercise. Plus, it can improve your overall athletic performance.
- One day of long and slow exercise. Hike, run, ride a bike, or practice yoga (great for your mood).
- One day of rest.
- Increase your overall activity every day. Walk or bike instead of driving. Get up and move every 15 minutes when you are working. Make your social life revolve around these activities.
At primalhealthyfit.com, there are body weight exercises you can do anywhere, including pictures and modifications. Check out the page on “Basic Movements and Workout Routines.”
Marksdailyapple.com presents concise workouts and a great rationale for a more primal diverse workout versus “chronic cardio” workouts.