Fitness - what and where?
Everyone nowadays seems to have such busy lives, and I am no different, since starting my PT business my training time has become hard to fit in some days. This is good regarding my work and how busy I am, but stressful too as I want and need to train so I have had to become much more organised in my daily life. My plan on how to tackle my problem of fitting 2 workouts in the day is to get up early and do a cardio workout - instead of lounging in bed waking up with Piers Morgan and a coffee! - then the other workout later in the day when I have some free-time to fill. My lightbulb moment has worked twice this week which I am really pleased about, the 2 days I was busiest I woke at 6am and was on my beloved rowing machine by 6.20 and finishing my first workout of the day by 7.15 just in time to get the kids their breakfast and take them to school. What a result!
Now my fitness regime is very regimented and I sit and write out my weekly sessions every Sunday evening in my little black book! That’s where the difference between you and I finishes though as we both have to plan what sessions to do and when to do them. With cardio I think it works to do the speedy ones in the middle - end of the day and the slower ones in the morning. If you want to do a weight session then I would advise you slot it in between a rest day and a light cardio day, its not good to perform a high intensity session the day after a lifting session, your body has to overcome the stresses of the workout the day before and you will face burnout if you don’t let it rest properly.
If you are a fan of high intensity sessions such as HIIT workouts then I would perform this only 1-2 times a week as again they place a lot of stress on your body, and it needs time to repair itself, an idea would be to have 1 at the start of the week and the other near to the end of the week, in between I would have maybe an active recovery session where you could have a nice comfortable swim or a walk where you still get your heartrate up but its not a sweaty march!
I would also try and fit in at least 1 resistance session, this could be with weights or just using your own bodyweight as the resistance. I feel resistance sessions are really misunderstood and also very important to both men and women. Many of the movements you perform such as the deadlift or the squat are called functional movements and are really useful to help you in your everyday life, such as lifting heavy things or getting up from the sofa. Both of these movements will benefit you immensely in later life when you have stairs to climb or even just raising yourself from the toilet seat. I think a lot of people forget or just want to ignore the fact that we are all going to get old and anything that we can do to help us later in life we should definitely do.
I have seen this first-hand with my husband's grandparents in the last 5 years or so, their house was on a hill and there was a large amount of steps to climb before actually getting into the house, this became a real problem for them both overtime and the last few months of his life, his grandad was virtually a recluse as he couldn’t get down the steps safely and then the same happened to his Grandmother. So after seeing this I will always preach to my clients and also my own parents the benefits of including these functional exercises into your sessions to be able to live a better quality of life once you get into your 70-80s.
Now, not only are there HIIT workouts that can be classed as cardio there is also runnning, indoor rowing, swimming, tennis, squash as well as a number of others so as you can see a huge amount of exercise that can be classed as cardio. I would suggest doing this 2-3 times a week for a minimum of 30 mins, get a sweat on and get that heart rate raised, this in turn will boost your mood and improve your overall aerobic fitness. It really doesn’t matter where you can fit it in, morning, noon and evening, cardio can be done anytime, although I would say, that a cardio session after 9 pm may leave you pretty wired and as its advisable to eat a certain amount of carbs, proteins and fats after your session you don’t want to be going for that run too late in the night, or else you will be going to bed on a full belly!
So to just to clarify, try and get a couple of cardio sessions into your week including a day where you just move and then get in your resistance session to benefit you now in the present by building that lean muscle to burn more calories, to tone up your body and to also help you in old age when everyday movements become more difficult to perform. Be sensible and don’t beast yourself every session and don’t stress if life gets in the way sometimes as there is always tomorrow to get it done. Try not to leave weekly gaps between sessions though as progression will be slow or even non- exsistent . Just train smart and you will achieve all your fitness targets without burning out.