Time is one of the most challenging variables when trying to start or stick to a workout routine. As if it’s not challenging enough throughout the year, time for fitness and self-care in the holiday season can seem impossible. Fortunately, we know that even shorter bouts of exercise are better than none! If you find yourself with short windows to get your heart rate up or limited equipment, we have a few suggestions of where to start!
Only have 15 minutes before you have to go sit in the carpool lane? You are able to squeeze in 20 minutes of movement before needing to shower and get the casserole in the oven? Perfect, that is all you need.
By cranking up the intensity of your workouts, you can work closer to your threshold for a short duration of time then take rest breaks for a designated amount of time to recover and be able to push just as hard in the next round.
A great example is Tabata. Tabata workouts are 8 rounds of 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest. Twenty seconds may seem short, but if you push the intensity then 20 seconds should feel a bit longer! Depending on your sport or fitness, you can choose the movement. For example, Tabata kettlebell swings would be 20 seconds of as many swings as you can perform within that time frame (no break!) and then 10 seconds of complete rest, then back to 20 seconds of swings. A traditional Tabata is 8 rounds so that would work out to be 4 minutes of work. If you want to alternate, you could switch between kettlebell swings and lunges then make it twice as long.
If you want longer working time, you may choose to perform a 1:1 ratio of work to rest. On a stationary bike or trainer, this may be 2 minutes of climbing or faster pedaling followed by 2 minutes rest (either complete rest or easy pace). This work to rest ratio can be applied to any movement-- sprints/running, gymnastics movements and barbell for a metcon, body weight circuits, etc.
Dropping into another CrossFit gym or Gold’s when you travel may be possible! If so, do it! For the endurance athletes out there, as long as there isn’t 3 feet of snow or ice, might be easy peasy to find a place to train. But if you don’t have any equipment available, you have options!
Many of us are pretty solid at our sport or favorite type of fitness but then when it comes to moving our own body we are subpar. This is a great time to practice! Don’t turn your nose up at push ups, lunges, planks, squats, etc. These OG strength movements are something we can ALL work on and will definitely get your heart rate up, cause you to sweat a bit and build strength.
How to structure a simple body weight workout: pick 4 movements (maybe 2 arm dominant and 2 leg dominant?). Alternate them as such: Arm #1, Leg #1, Arm #2, Leg #2. Then to decide how many reps of each movement, pick a number that you could perform without stopping in the first round (before you get tired). If you are newer to body weight movements keep it around 10, if you are a functional fitness person then you may choose reps around 30. Finally, look at your schedule. How much time do you have? 12 minutes? Great, work for 12 minutes.
Example: Push up, Squat, Side Plank, Lunge
6 Push ups
30 sec side plank (per side)
You have 16 minutes until you have to leave to pick up the kids, so work for 14 minutes. You would work through one round then start back at the top and repeat until 14 minutes has passed. BOOM!
Choosing What To Do
What is your usual workout or training routine? Do you want to really get your heart rate up and sweat or do you want to focus on strength movements and feel your muscles fatigued?
Think about your goals. If you are training for a marathon in the New Year, do you need to work on cardio? Or is this a great time to work on cross-training?
Do you feel so frazzled with all of the family coming over later that your nerves are on end? Maybe a workout is not what you need at all, rather 15 minutes to breathe, stretch, roll out, close your eyes. If you are looking for some guided stretching or yoga, search the YouTubes! So many options!
"I still don’t know what to do."
Lucky for you, Spectrum Performance offers personalized programming for your goals, needs, time and equipment! We can have a chat about these variables then make a plan to get you through the next few months without losing gains and continuing towards your goals. Send an email to info@SpectrumPerformance.fit for more info!
TLDR-- (too long, didn’t read aka summary)
* Limited time for a workout over the holidays? Try Tabata workouts or simply a 1:1 work:rest ratio to crank up the intensity.
* No equipment for a workout? Focus on bodyweight movements. They are simple but so effective! Design a workout with 4 movements, alternate these movements and pick a time frame that fits your busy schedule for the day. And GO.
* Not sure what to focus on for your workouts? Think about goals and listen to your body. You can focus on high intensity, slow and steady, cross training, etc.
* Still not sure what to do? Send an email to info@SpectrumPerformance.fit and let’s chat about personal programming to get you through the holidays and continue working on goals.
Are you ready to get rid of pain and improve your performance in life? Click that Book Now button! Have questions? Let's set up a discovery call. Email to schedule: info@SpectrumPerformance.fit
Thanks for reading,
Dr. Jackie, DPT