How many articles, commercials, and blurbs do we see about what we can do “in just minutes a day?” Here’s the thing: many of us do not have minutes to spend. I think most of us have already focused in on our major time wasters (hello, cop shows; I am looking at you…) and found ways to avoid them or multitask during them (watch pretend science while we pedal our spin bikes!). We have to set priorities.
In fitness, this means that we recognize that we have only so much time to devote to it. We need to make sure that what we are doing works. In my opinion this means:
Interval training. It builds cardio-respiratory fitness faster than steady pace work, it bumps up the metabolism for the whole day, and it doesn’t take as long to get the benefits (i.e., half an hour of intervals reaps about the same benefit as a whole hour of non-interval training).
That leaves time for weight work, which builds muscle, which builds up the metabolism and shapes the body.
And there is still time to stretch and roll and relax. We need to take a moment or two or three to restore the body and the mind. We all have more tension than we need. Stiffness is not fun. Working out the kinks through myofascial release, flexibility work, and some deep breathing pays off in reducing pain and increasing mental clarity.
And we should also probably take two minutes to floss our teeth.