Here is The Basic Breakdown of a Good Workout
Not having the time to work out is the most common excuse for not exercising. I think though, that there is a misconception that you have to work out for an hour or an elongated period of time to get results. That’s just not true.
I have broken down the components of a good workout so you can see what you do and don’t have time for and then you can just squeeze in what you can.
3 – 5 Minutes: STRETCH
Stretching is a key exercise component not only prior to a work out but it’s good to stretch in general. Stretching helps prepare your joints and muscles for their full range of motion. If you stretch regularly, your body is better prepared for the day ahead. Even if you only have 3 – 5 minutes to sit down and watch a small portion of the Netflix show your spouse is watching, take a sit, and stretch.
3 – 5 Minutes: WARM UP
A warm up is a lighter version of the main workout that’s about to come. It usually encompasses the same or similar movements and gets your blood flowing. Did you read that? A warm up gets your blood flowing – which means, you’re burning calories. Even in the warm up phase of your work out you are making healthy progress. The key here is that some exercise is better than none, so even if you only have 3 – 5 minutes, take the opportunity to go for a quick walk around the block, do some sit ups, planks, or jump rope. You can do any exercise for 3 – 5 minutes and still benefit.
15 – 40 Minutes: MAIN WORKOUT
After a stretch and a warm-up, you’re prepped and ready to go for the main bulk of the routine. You can make this as short or as long as you want. The more time you’re able to spend exercising, the more benefit you will get. Here are some suggestions on how to break out your workout sesh.
3 – 5 Minutes: CARDIO INTERVALS
Incorporating intervals into your cardio routine will help prevent boredom and give your body a challenge. Try low intensity for 2 minutes and then high intensity for 1. Or low intensity for 3 minutes, and high intensity for 2 minutes.
For example: If you’re jogging outside or on a treadmill, jog for a couple minutes and then run hard for one minute. Do that 5 times, that’s 15 minutes, and you’re all set.
10 – 50 Minutes: STRENGTH TRAINING
Strength training involves sets of repetitions with a rest between sets. Each SET including the rest period should take 1 – 3 minutes. Depending on how many sets you perform and how long you rest in between, your strength training work out could last as short or as long as you want.
For example: I like to keep things simple. So let’s say you have 5 exercises to work your upper body strength. You’re going to perform 12 repetitions for each exercise. 12 reps takes about 1 minute and then you want to rest 1 minute before going into the next exercise so each rep + the rest takes about 2 minutes total.
1 Set = 10 minutes
5 Exercises x 12 repetitions (1 minute) + Rest period (1 minute)
5 Sets = 50 minutes
5 x 1 set (10 minutes)
So again, even if you only have 10 minutes, you still have time to get 1 set of 5 exercises into your day.
3 – 5 Minutes: COOL DOWN
You should take this time to cool your body off. This will allow your body to put the blood back into its usual places. When you exercise, the body pumps blood to the working muscles to bring them oxygen and nutrients and carry away the waste like lactic acid. The body is redirecting the blood from places it is not crucially needed like the organs so gradually decreasing the heart rate (as opposed to abruptly stopping the work out) will allow the blood to gradually flow back to its rightful place.
3 – 5 Minutes: STRETCH
After a workout, your muscles are tense from the work it just performed. Performing static stretching (long periods of holding a stretch) and myofascial release (foam rolling) will help balled up muscles fibers recall their normal positions and prevent any tension that has built up during the exercise.
Now that we have broken down a good workout into its components, you can see how to customize your workout to fit into your schedule. The stretching and the warm ups and cool downs are crucial to help prevent injury so if you’re limited on time, make sure that these components are the priority.