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Workout Self-Help Advice

Written by Stu Watson

Succeed in your fitness goals through efficiency. Walk to where you need to go or grab those exercise moments during commercial breaks. 
How do you take your workouts: Hot and sweaty, or nice and ... lazy?

I hate to put the question that way, because it doesn't seem fair. Who would choose hot and sweaty? And besides, isn't nice and lazy exercise a bit of an oxymoron?

 
Fitness Advice
If you can't find a 30-minute block in which to exercise, find three 10-minute blocks.
If you're starting out and don't know how, seek the help of a certified personal trainer.
Make exercise more enjoyable by doing it to music, with a friend or while watching TV.
Find an exercise buddy. Ideally, this person has a similar level of fitness, similar goals and activity interests.
Control your diet to benefit from exercise. Avoid fad diets.
Eat well, but eat less by cutting your portion sizes. Use salad plates instead of dinner plates.
Advice in Eating without Dieting
Swimming Advice 
 
Yes, but it's still possible to get fit without killing yourself. Annette Cain, a personal trainer and author of Get in Shape the Lazy Way, says most people approach fitness from a state of laziness.

"When I talk to people about why they don't exercise, they say they don't have time, or they think it'll be too hard. People think they have to push themselves to benefit," says Cain.

You do, but not like some Marine Corps recruit at basic training. That's where people starting down the path to fitness defeat themselves: They look at well-conditioned people and think they instantly have to exercise at the same level, all out for an hour until the sweat pours off them, the lungs cry for mercy and the body teeters on collapse.

Preposterous. Instead, Cain says, break exercise into chunks.

"I believe that if you can do a little bit every day, you get to stockpile the results," she says.

The U.S. Surgeon General says adults should get at least 30 minutes of moderate activity five days a week. That's 2.5 hours over a week. That's 21 minutes a day or less than a minute of exertion per hour.

If during the TV commercials in an average evening you did some exercise; knee bends, pushups, crunches, a hike up and down the stairs, imagine all the time you could find for exercise.

"It's not lazy, it's the lazy way," says Cain. "It means you get the same results, but you do it the lazy way."

It's about efficient exercise. "Push yourself to your limits in that small block of time, and when you can, add more," she says.

A few months ago, I suggested this approach to my teen-age daughter. She needs to do 18 pushups in a minute to qualify for a $30,000 scholarship. She can do four.

So I suggested she do four several times a day. On getting out of bed. On finishing her shower. On chilling in front of the TV.

In time, she could do five, six and seven pushups until she could do 18.

 

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