Part 3 of a Special Health Series on NurseZone
By Holly Mosier, health expert and author of Stress Less, Weigh Less
March 6, 2012 - In part two of our health series, I gave you my key eating tips to keep your weight down and energy up. Now it’s time to revamp the way you’re exercising. Study after study has found that exercise is the closest thing we have to the fountain of youth, but it need not take up a lot of time.
As with my eating plan, if it is difficult or time consuming, I won’t do it. I researched the best and most efficient ways to exercise because I get bored, and I don’t have hours to spend at the gym.
Let me give you the key guidelines that work for just about everyone (don’t forget to consult a doctor before beginning any kind of exercise regime):
1. Exercise every day for 45 minutes to one hour (even at work).
There’s just no way around this. If you want to lose weight and keep it off, and keep your energy high, you have to exercise 45 minutes to an hour per day, with maybe one day off a week. But you don’t have to have killer workouts every day. Not at all. You just need to move every day.
You can split this up during the day. Studies confirm that three 10-minute exercise sessions throughout the day are just as effective as a solid 30 minutes.
Getting your daily exercise might be easier than you think because all movement throughout the day counts! Constant moving throughout your nursing shifts adds up. Try wearing a pedometer to work; you might be surprised at how many miles you log without giving it any thought.
2. Do both cardio and resistance training.
The greater your muscle mass, the higher your metabolism. Resistance training builds muscle, boosting metabolism, and prevents the muscle atrophy that occurs with age. Cardio burns a lot of calories and strengthens your heart and lungs. For complete fitness, you need to do both.
Author Holly Mosier says that 45-60 minutes of daily exercise is vital to maintaining weight loss and fitness, and some of the walking nurses do at work can count.
Resistance training can include lifting weights, but that’s not your only option. Anything that uses your body weight will do. Push-ups are a classic example. Yoga and Pilates are also examples. I particularly like yoga--not only is it a terrific all-over-body toner, it is a premier stress reducer. To save time, I do one of my 10-Minute Yoga sequences every other day, rather than trying to attend those 90-minute classes when I am just too busy. (I talk more about my 10-Minute Yoga sequences here.)
3. Use interval training.
The key to reducing the time you work out, while still getting better results, is interval training. Interval training is where you exercise at a moderate pace punctuated with short bursts of high-intensity effort.
For example, if you are walking for your cardio exercise that day, you’d walk at a moderate pace for 3 or 4 minutes, and then pick up the pace to a fast walk or light jog for a minute. Then you return to the moderate pace and let your heart rate slowly come back down. You keep repeating this pattern, alternating between moderate- and high-intensity effort for the duration of your cardio session.
Using interval training is what allowed me to reduce my old 45-minute cardio sessions down to 30-minute sessions with much better results.
About the Author:
Holly Mosier is a healthy-lifestyle expert and author of Stress Less, Weigh Less, as well as a lawyer, business owner, mother and wife.
See all four articles in this special health series on NurseZone:
Part 1: Reduce Your Stress
Part 2: Revamp the Way You’re Eating
Part 3: Revamp the Way You’re Exercising
Part 4: Easy, Healthy Recipes (Five Ingredients or Less!)
© 2011. AMN Healthcare, Inc. All Rights Reserved.