Short Workout, Big Caloric Payoff!

Time is a precious commodity. When you have a million different things that you want to get done and not a lot of time to get them done, you need to learn to be efficient; especially when time is money. As soon as that babysitter shows up, it’s go-time!

Freedom only lasts a few hours, which seems to me to be a mere blink of the eye. So as to not get too carried away in frolicking/daydreaming/meandering without a stroller, I prepare myself for the tasks ahead when I am alone, and working out for me is a must if for only one reason… it’s my therapy. It helps bring mommy back to neutral. It recharges the battery and makes me feel happy. And I can’t, as I have learned, keep taking ‘working out’ off my to-do list because I need it. I really neeeeeed it!

So how do you make sure you get in a good workout while being as efficient as possible? I did the math on this one and here is what I came up with. It’s a cardio workout that was only 40 minutes long but… BUT… I only exerted myself for 20 of those minutes! The other 20 I still kept burning calories by avoiding just one thing… sitting.

Here’s the burn breakdown for you:

I ran for 20 minutes and burned 180 cal (I did interval running which is my favorite. It’s a fast pace followed by a slower ‘recovery’ pace.) This wasn’t an easy run mind you, I pushed myself, getting my heart rate up to its max so I could get the most out of the least amount of time. I ran hard, almost in a sprint, for 30 seconds, and slowed it down for one minute and repeated that for the 20 minutes.

After that, I walked/stood/avoided sitting for the next 20 minutes and burned an additional 120 cal. (I came home, put laundry away, tidied up the house, ran after the baby… whatever I could so as to not sit.)

Total burn was 300 cal for 20 minutes of hard work followed by 20 minutes of not sitting… and I’m sure I was still burning more than usual for another 15 to 20 minutes after the last 20 minutes and I felt great, mentally and physically.

Later in the day I put my heart rate monitor back on just to get an idea of how much I burn when I haven’t just exercised and that was 44 cal for 20 minutes. So you see, there is truth to thinking that even after you’re done working out, your body is still working and burning calories at a higher rate than if you skipped the workout altogether.

Remember this the next time you’re about to cross out “working out” off your to-do list. All it takes it 20 minutes of hard work, and your body does the rest!

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About the Author: Anne Marie Constanzo