- Posted by Lisa McDonald
- On September 22, 2015
- 0 Comments
Remember how we talked about how there is no one perfect diet? Well, there is no perfect exercise plan either. Ahhhh, let’s take a deep breath and realize that’s a relief! Let’s get rid of any guilt and pressure around what we think we “should” be doing and talk about what works in real life.
The key, as I wrote in a previous article, is to move each day the way your body wants to move. Period. It’s that simple. Be a body that loves to move…and respect and appreciate the different moods and needs of your body. Clients will tell me sometimes they’ve read that a particular exercise is supposed to be the best and is this what they should be doing? I always answer, “Sometimes!” Throw it in the repertoire.
Let’s talk about some of the latest research, and then, as always, I want you to pick and choose on any given day, what your body needs to feel good.
Have you heard of high-intensity interval training? This is the fancy term for bursts of activity. They have now figured out that this type of exercise (besides being way more time efficient!) is a far more efficient way to exercise than the long cardio workouts we were so brainwashed to think we should be doing daily at the gym on the treadmill.
Let me explain briefly what it involves. There are variations of course, but basically it’s putting forth full effort of running, jumping jacks, jump roping, walking, whatever you are doing for 30 seconds. Then, you walk or move around in a mellow way recovering for about a minute, and then you do another burst. Ideally, you do about 5 to 8 of these burst with recovery periods in between.
Now, here’s the thing—will you feel like doing this every day? Heck no!! What about on the days you have that good energy and you are wanting to do something intense? This is perfect and it will feel oh so good! I always feel strong and sporty when I do these! And the beauty is, it even fits in to the busiest of days as it doesn’t take long to do. And don’t worry about doing 5-8, just do what you feel like! We don’t need hard and fast rules for anything. We need flexibility, pleasure, and fun!
Now don’t forget, the other recent and relevant information emerging regarding exercise is that it is far better for the body to move frequently throughout the day, than to be sedentary all day and then do that designated “hour” of exercise. They’re even going so far as to say that “Sitting is the new smoking!”
This is actually wonderful news for our busy lives!! Sneaking in movement will feel so good and is easier than you think. Don’t underestimate simple things like:
- Parking in the farthest spot from where you’re going
- Never accepting help with your groceries!
- Putting on great music and sweeping or vacuuming your floor
- Hurling trash into dumpsters!
- Always taking the stairs
- Leaning on your desk or dining room table and knocking out 10 push-ups
- On lower energy days…a stroll around the block to get some sun and breathe or window shop
- Walk when you can to get your coffee or your lunch and add an extra couple blocks when you can
Five minutes does more good for your body than you could possibly imagine. Really. We know that now. So come away from black and white thinking about exercise and just start having fun and being sneaky.
On days I work from home, I often pick whatever song I’m in the mood for and for that five minutes, dance around my house like a crazy woman. Sometimes I like to pretend I’m graceful and it’s a mellow dance, other days, I’m shaking my bottom like nobody’s business! This can be a fun way to play with some of the different flavors of the feminine spectrum!
Something else that works well is to keep a set of hand weights by your desk. Here’s a video I love to do on my strong days. You won’t believe what you can do in only five minutes!! This video I found after my youngest daughter and I were waving goodbye to a friend of hers and she said, “Mom, your arm shakes when you wave goodbye.” Ahhh…a sense of humor saves us. So, something new for the repertoire:
Remember, dear readers, have fun, move those beautiful bodies and keep a sense of humor. Don’t think you need to join a gym and have a collection of lulu workout gear to be fit (if you enjoy that, great, if you don’t, I promise you don’t need it!) Did you know there isn’t a gym to be found in France? Those lovely, chic French women don’t even own a pair of spandex pants…but they move. They stay curious about life, walk and bike anywhere they can…in their heels no less!