In a former life I was a certified aerobics instructor and personal trainer and people would ask me all the time how they could lose weight and get in shape. For years I’ve, pretty much, given the same answer: exercise often and eat healthier. But, in response I would often hear two things: “I do eat healthy, but I’m still overweight” and “I don’t have time to (or don’t want to) exercise.”
Well, now I have an answer to both!
First of all, it’s not just what you eat, but when and how much. Because the metabolism is on an upward swing in the morning and begins to decline towards the end of the day, it is important to eat your heavier meals early when you have more time in the day to burn off the calories. Save your snacking for the evening. But by “snacking” I don’t mean donuts and chips! How about hummus and pretzels? Air popped, lightly salted popcorn? Or Aiyesha Curry’s Yogurt Parfait? Fruit salad? Or, my favorite, a cup of tea or Postum? These kinds of snacks, in the evening, a couple of hours before bedtime should satisfy you without piling on the pounds.
Second, high intensity interval training (HIIT)—more specifically, Tabata. It’s my new favorite “go to” workout routine, especially when I’m in a hurry.
Even if you only have 5 minutes, you can burn calories, build strength and endurance.
It’s true! All you have to do is pick an exercise that uses the larger muscle groups; then set your clock and begin! To make it easier, try this online Tabata Timer or download a Tabata Timer app onto your phone You will do the exercise as quickly as you can for 20 seconds, then you get to rest for 10 seconds before repeating the same exercise. Come on, you can do ANYTHING for 20 seconds!!! Challenge yourself to maintain the same number of reps for each round. It will get harder each time, but as long as you give it your all for 20 seconds, you will benefit from this exercise. And when the 4 minutes is up, cool down for 1 minute and head for the shower! What? Really? Yes, really! You’re done, in 5 minutes flat!
So, for our Monday Mayhem workout, let’s do some burpees.
If you have more time, try some of these other Tabata workouts. You can do one set or string together several sets to comprise a 15, 20 or 30 minute workout. You won’t need longer than that!