Got three minutes?

If you are not familiar with my forte with fitness, I can explain it best with my simple formula:

To better understand how this works, you need to know that there is a big difference between exercise and a workout. A workout is not fun! Exercise, on the other hand, can be enjoyable. Exercise is any activity that gets your body moving, such as, walking, playing golf, tennis, etc.

A workout, on the other hand, should be exhausting! Example: Burst Training or Intervals. A workout should involve intense anaerobic exercise that builds strength. It can be more “cardio” related, such as: sprinting; spinning; elliptical; step/stair machine, etc. Or, it can be more strength related, such as: weights; resistance equipment; isometrics; body-weight resistance (push-ups, sit-ups, etc.)

It’s best to do the exercises in your workout for a set period of time verses counting reps (example: 30-seconds), with minimal rest between. If you are working out with sufficient intensity you will not be able to do so for an extended period of time.

Three Minutes

Here’s some great news for those of you who have found it difficult to find the time to consistently workout. Recent science shows that rigorous workouts lasting as little as 3-minutes aids in preventing diabetes. Studies show that just 7 minutes of intense exercise each week helped control blood sugar.

The group consisted of 16 men in their early twenties. The study volunteers, who were relatively out of shape but otherwise healthy, rode an exercise bike four times daily in 30-second spurts two days a week.

After two weeks, the young men had a 23 percent improvement in how effectively their body used insulin to clear glucose, or blood sugar, from the bloodstream.

The idea is to exercise for short bursts at a high-intensity level (85%-100% of your maximum heart rate). Your goal is to do a total of 30 minutes per week. Divide up the 25 minutes however you wish with your minimum time consisting of 3 minutes, and maximum time of 5 minutes per workout.

Running in Place

One of the best things you can do to implement a quick workout and make it a habit, is to run in place. Because running in place requires no equipment, and is not dependent on the weather, as running outside is, it takes away the excuses that typically throws one off their workout routine. The best way to succeed at an exercise routine is by keeping it routine, doing it at the same time every day. By sticking with a routine, you engrain the behavior in your mind and it becomes part of your day.

Running in place is a strenuous, plyometric action that builds lower-body strength and agility. Plyometrics trains a muscle to combine maximum speed and strength, involve springing actions such as jumps and hops, and running in place is basically a sequence of alternating one-legged jumps. Specifically, it requires balance, the control of impact forces through the forefoot, and superior ankle and calf strength.

The best technique for running in place is to begin leaping softly from foot to foot for a minute or two, focusing on landing on the balls of your feet and kicking your heels toward the ceiling. Gradually increase your tempo and height, and try to hit your butt with your heels. This explosive, all-leg action generates quick muscle contraction and relaxation. A variation is to do a high-knee drill. Instead of heel-kicking your glutes, you’re bringing your knees up high in front of you. This strengthens your hip and abdominal muscles.

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