Arkansans are not concerned about their health. At 34.5%, Arkansas now has the sixth highest adult obesity rate in the nation, according to The State of Obesity: Better Policies for a Healthier America released in September 2016. This news is devastating for our communities, children, and future. Healthy communities grow and flourish.
It’s time to take action!
Exercise is the answer. It is the best form of preventative medicine. The benefits of 30-45 minutes of rigorous exercise range from decreasing health related risks such as strokes, type II diabetes, cancers, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, and depression. That list should literally scare you into daily exercise.
The list of positive, non-health related benefits of exercise is incredibly encouraging also. That list includes a longer life, a better quality of life, increased productivity and energy levels, higher academic achievement among students, and economic savings through reduced health care expenses.
So, why is it that Arkansans are not exercising? The number one excuse I hear from people for not exercising is that they simply do not have the time. I would argue that you make time for the things that are important to you. Your health should be of the utmost importance.
Let’s talk about how to maximize your workout time. Traditional cardio takes so much time. You should know that 50 minutes of walking will burn about 250-400 calories depending on the person’s weight. Unfortunately, the instant you stop low intensity walking/jogging your body quits burning calories. To burn more calories, you must go farther, which takes more time.
To be blunt, we are looking for maximum calorie burn, and traditional cardio is not the answer. If you can give 45 minutes, four to five times a week to exercise, you must interval train. That is challenging your body and heart to their maximum effort, 90-100% of what you can give.
You will do four to six exercises that are 60-90 seconds long with short periods of rest in between exercises. In 45 minutes you will burn anywhere from 400-700 calories. After you leave an interval-training workout, your body continues to burn calories at a higher rate for two more hours.
The next two days your body is recovering and continues to burn extra calories even at rest because of the type of energy that an interval-training workout requires. To say that this type of exercise is well worth your time is an understatement. Interval training is the best use of your time!
If you are not sure how to interval train, a great place to start is to attend a group fitness class. The reasons to participate in group fitness are extensive:
- They are incredibly inexpensive compared to personal training.
- The group fitness instructor will have the entire workout ready to go when you walk in the door.
- Exercising with others is motivating: If they can do it, so can I!
- A set time and place is an incentive to show up.
- Paying in advance ensure you’ll not waste your investment.
- Recruiting a friend to attend with is a great accountability mechanism.
- With regular attendance, you will see results, weight loss, and health improvement!
Several key words to look for when searching for an interval training group fitness class include Bootcamp, HIIT (High Intesity Interval Training, Tabata, or simply call the group fitness gym and ask for the interval training sessions that fit your schedule.
There is no time like the present to take back your health!