Month: November 2012
|Twice now someone has given me a fitness magazine in the last month. I’m not even sure how one ended up on my kitchen counter the other day, but I decided it was a gift, or at least a sign. For a moment, I thought what are these people trying to tell me? Reluctant to read them at first, I ended up finding the best news I’ve read in a long time in both magazines. I decided it must be true, of course, because I read it twice. (I’m easily persuaded.)
For as long as I can remember, it seems like health experts kept increasing the length of exercise a person needed and the number of times needed weekly to show any significant improvements. For example, thirty minutes three times a week turned into an hour four to six times a week. Who has that kind of time with any number of kids, let alone five? Who has that much time when they work forty plus hours a week, and who in the world has that much energy? (I know exercise increases your energy, but still.)
Well, the latest health information I’ve read has changed drastically. The length of time needed has dropped considerably. In Women’s Health and the November issue of Prevention, (that mysteriously ended up in my hands), the latest exercise regimen is a lot shorter. According to Prevention Magazine, in order to “blast belly fat in your 40s, 50s, and 60s,” these experts recommend just “20 minutes three times a week.” Yeah, baby. It gets better. The best news from the study said a person doesn’t have to run for forty minutes at a moderate pace without stopping. Instead, it’s supposedly more effective to do “High-intensity interval training” (HIIT). They suggest alternating between “two or three minutes at a challenging pace and one minute at a moderate pace for 20 minutes.” In other words, a person can run for three minutes, walk for one, and repeat. That’s it. Both magazines included a study saying the women who did this “lost more weight than those who ran or did cardio exercise for 40 minutes straight without taking a break.” Why, oh why did I run a half-marathon? (Actually, that wasn’t a bad thing. It just took tons of time to train and required unbelievable discipline on my part.)
I highly recommend exercising with a friend. It really helps a person stay accountable and I’ve found it easier to stay committed when friends are waiting. In my case, that means going to the YMCA in town and meeting my friends three times a week. It’s not only been physically beneficial, but I’ve also met some incredible women that have taught me so much. (Those life lessons are for another time.) They’re all very inspiring. Our group ranges in age from 20s (wow, does that feel like a long time ago), all the way up to 70s. Those older women, in number, not in attitude, have kicked my butt on several occasions and put me to shame. They keep me going and what stay-at-home doesn’t need adult conversation to stay sane?
For those who aren’t as out-going, get a dog. Studies in various publications have proven dog-owners are healthier. Most people walk their dogs, (or in my case, my dog walks me), and therefore, both reap the benefits. I highly recommend a Lhasa-Poo, as mine is more high-maintenance than my 4-year-old. I rarely get to sit down and take a load off. Of course, mentally he drives me insane at times, but so do my kids. I keep telling myself it’s not their fault. So, grab a friend and get outside or hit the gym for 20 minutes. Life will be better.
Compliments of The Atchison Globe