Short Workouts During Busy Times

Although I had a vision of a coherent, organized series of health/fitness posts, I’ve decided I’ll just have to shoot from the hip when I feel the kick.

Today’s post is about short workouts. For some reason there seems to be this myth that all workouts have to be at least one hour long, and usually longer. Personal trainers suggest 1.5 – 2 hours. This is nonsense. If you don’t exercise, start with a 10 minute walk each morning.

If you exercise regularly, don’t be afraid to shorten your workouts during a busy period. I had a decently busy day today. Not really busy, but a few meetings, a few calls, a few faxes, 75 emails sent/received. I didn’t want to take two hours to do aerobics and lift weights, even though my lats and pecs are more than deserving of some Casnocha Style Lovin’ (out of guilt, I had two Clif Bars).

So I did a quick 45 minute workout, door to door. Since I happily pay more for the convenience of a local gym, it’s a 3 minute walk, 20 minutes on bike, 10 minutes treadmill, 10 minutes elliptical, some stretching / push ups and out the door (ok – a little longer than 45 mins). When I got home I felt refreshed and focused.

Again: if you don’t exercise, start with 10 minute workouts. If you do exercise, don’t be afraid to do short ones when you’re busy, but be sure to pay a little extra for a lot more convenience (if possible) since it will save time on the transit, and every minute counts.

7 Responses to Short Workouts During Busy Times

  1. Wes Mahler says:

    Sounds great, I need to regain my focus on physical fitness, just those simple daily disciplines again.

    Imagine, successful in all fields of life. incredible. Smart Work. And Thanks for replying to my emails!

    PS: After thinking about your comment it isn’t how many books, it is what you get out of them. My mentor, recommended reading “How to read a book,” it talks about how to get the most out of the book. I need to finish it. FYI

  2. Maria says:

    The short workout thing is so true! On days that I absolutely don’t have time to work out, I just walk the 11 flights of stairs up to the office. It’s not much, but every little bit helps I guess. Also, I generally agree with what you’ve said, but are Clif bars really good for you?

  3. Alexander Peschkoff says:

    As a professional athlete (I used to practice pole vault and was in the same group with Sergey Bubka, the current world champion), I doubt it that 10-minute sessions can be classed as “workouts”. It could be OK for stretching, relaxing etc, but cardio- and strength-wise, it’s not enough.

    Besides, the perception of “busy” is subjective. Adding another 30 min to the workout programme twice a week will not put any company out of business. ;)

    As for the programme, everybody has his/her own preferenced. I favour HIT (link to en.wikipedia.org). If done correctly, one can achieve amazing (!!) results in a very short period of time. For example, with HIT I achieved a better form in three months that I did with years of “professional” training.

  4. Ben Casnocha says:

    Maria — I will address your questiona bout Clif Bars in a forthcoming post.

  5. Jude says:

    I earned a stair climber by creating a website for my ex-husband. My daughter stretches and rock climbs, but she claims that aerobic exercise makes her nauseated. I told her to start with 30 seconds on the stair climber. The second week, go up to a minute. Then see if you can add a minute the third week. She laughed because it sounded ludicrous–but why not? I have no desire to become a pole vaulter, or even really to stay in shape beyond avoiding osteoporosis. If I feel like climbing for 4 miles, fine. If I can only squeeze in a short warmup and a 5-minute stair climb, that’s better than nothing. My ex-husband, who owned a fitness center, works out for 3 hours a day, 5 days a week. His muscles are so large that he outgrew all his coats, so he gave them to me. Beyond that, his lengthy workouts interfere with his life.

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