Ask the Coach
I go to the gym 3 times a week but only have 30-40 minutes. What is the best use of my time?
A mix of cardio, resistance training and some stretching would be ideal. Depending on your goals is where the emphasis should be. Alternate activities. Do one session of weight training, core and stretch. The next session is cardio. The third session split 50/50, weight training and cardio. Make every minute count since you must maximize your time. Hire a trainer to show you a few routines and check out your form.
Boot Camp or any Group X class that combines cardio and weight training, with a competent instructor, is a good choice. Most classes are 40-60 minutes. These are offered at gyms, parks and smaller studios. You could combine a class with other workouts for the week. You can pay by the class or buy a package.
Performing intervals of cardio and free weight or bodyweight exercises for time is another great method. For example, at the gym, perform 3-5 weight machine exercises for 10-15 reps, with less than 60 seconds of rest. Choose exercises that use your major muscle groups: legs, back or chest. These exercises burn more calories and will work the smaller muscle groups you don’t have time for. Combine this with jumping on the elliptical, rower or treadmill for 5 minutes at a brisk pace. You would have time to do 3-4 cycles of this.
Can’t get to the gym? At home, you can jump rope, use the stairs or run in place and also combine those with push-ups, sit-ups and squats or lunges. Add a backpack, free weights or weighted vest for more intensity. Use a fitness app that offers a selection of classes 24/7 on your device. DVR fitness programs or use DVDs and plug in a class anytime you like. The idea is to get breathy, tone your muscles and stay flexible. Easy, right?
I haven’t lost my holiday weight and here comes festival season! What can I do?
Get moving! Track your steps and other physical activity each day. All smartphones have easy to use apps. Increase from your baseline. Join a gym. Hire a trainer. Get a workout partner. Physical activity guidelines for weight loss are 60-90 min a day.
Get your rest! Studies show that weight loss is closely tied to the quality and quantity of your sleep.
Stress less! Stress is tied to the release of hormones that are not beneficial for weight loss. Meditate, pray or try breathing techniques to reduce stress. Tai chi and yoga are de-stressing activities.
Prepare more of your own meals. Evaluate the quality and quantity of meals and snacks. Activity apps can be synced with food trackers to help you have a true accounting. Are you burning more calories then you are consuming? This is the path to weight loss!