Why You Shouldn’t Go to the Gym for an Hour a Week

Most people want to be in shape – fit, healthy, live longer and fuller lives. So we sign up to gyms, make ourselves go there once a week, do our time and forget about it for the rest of the week – we sweat, feel better afterward and generally give ourselves a pat on the back for taking care of ourselves. This may not be the best way for us to stay healthy and work out…

You only feel the benefits for a limited amount of time

The extra energy, the buzz, the happiness you feel after a workout is fantastic – why should you limit yourself to only feeling that once a week? Instead of working out for 60 minutes a week in one go, work out for 10 minutes 6 times a week – that means you’ll have that wonderful post-work out buzz 6 days of the week instead of just one. Not to mention that 10 minutes is far easier to slip into a busy schedule.

A good workout such as tabata will increase your metabolic rate for hours after your work out, which means that you will be burning calories at a higher rate even after you have finished exercising, If you exercise 6 days of the week instead of 1, you will be burning your calories at a faster rate for longer, meaning that you will lose weight faster.

A workout in only 10 minutes

After years of being told that we need to warm up for x number of minutes and that we don’t start to actually exercise until we’ve been on a machine for x amount of time, it can be difficult to get into a mindset that allows us to exercise for only 10 minutes, and still be healthy and feel more benefits than doing so for an hour.

If the tabata is not your thing, here is a quick workout to get you started:

Warm up and stretch prior to exercising. Ensure that you do stretching before and after the work out to avoid injury and keep your muscles supple.

60 x corkscrews

Lie on your back with your legs raised over your body (at 90 degrees) and knees slightly bent. Keep your hands by your sides, palms down. Use your abs to lift your hips off the floor while twisting your hips to the right. Hold that position and then to the starting position. Alternate sides when you repeat the exercise. Repeat 60 times in 5 sets of 12.

30 x dorsal raises

Lie on your front with your hands either side of your head, elbows out and your fingers at your temples. Raise your chest off the floor as much as you can by using your back muscles – ensure it’s a fluid, controlled movement. Repeat 30 times in 3 sets of 10.

30 x bicycle sit-ups

Lie on your back with your knees slightly bent and your hands on either side of your head with your fingers at your temples. Raise your shoulders off the floor, twisting to one side. Raise one leg off the floor so that your elbow touches the opposite knee. Repeat in a bicycle motion without letting your feet or shoulders touch the floor until the end of the rep. Repeat 30 times in 3 sets of 10.

60 x tricep dips

Sit on a chair (make sure it’s not going to roll or slide away from you!) with your hands on the edge with the fingers pointing forwards. Slide off the chair, keeping your hands on it, and keep your legs straight out so that you are supporting yourself on your arms and your feet. Dip down as far as you can and then come up again to the same position – ensure it’s a fluid, controlled movement. Repeat 60 times in 5 sets of 12.

30 x jumping lunges

Stand with one foot about 2-3 feet in front of the other, both facing forwards. Keeping your body straight and looking straight ahead, bend the front knee until your thigh is parallel to the floor and the knee on the back leg is bent and as low to the ground as you can get it (do not rest it on the floor). Jump up from that position and swap your legs over so the other one is in front – repeat the lunge with the other leg.

Remember that the larger the muscle groups you exercise during your short workout, the more calories you’ll burn. Don’t be afraid to push yourself hard in these short workouts, since you don’t need to pace yourself for an hour.

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