Break It Up Into Tinier Components.
Instead of ignoring exercise altogether, here’s a suggestion for integrating it into your busy schedule. Think of exercise like you think of a major task in the office. Break it up into tinier components.
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Instead of spending two hours in the gym or in the tennis court like your friends do, ask your trainer to divide your workout program.
30 minutes four times a week, i.e.: 20 minutes cardio, 10 minutes weights (1 muscle group, e.g. legs)
30 minutes three times a week
Mon: 20 minutes cardio + 10 minutes stretching;
Tues: 20 minutes weights (2 muscle groups, e.g. back and abdominals) + 10 minutes of cardio.
Wed: 20 minutes cardio + 10 minutes of
Weights (two muscle groups, e.g. triceps or chest, biceps or shoulders)
20 minutes 5 days a week.
Week 1: all cardio
Week 2: weights
Week 3: Cardio on Mon/Wed/Fri
Week 4: Weights on Tues/Thurs
Repeat the entire cycle when you get to month 2.
Ideally, one should gradually increase the frequency or intensity, or both. But if you’re busy, and definitely can’t spare more than 30 minutes a day, then increase your intensity. This means if your cardio involves the treadmill, take the notch up 1 level (if you started with level 3, go on to level 4 on month 2).
For your weight training, if you started with 5-pound weights, graduate into 7.5 pounds in month 2. And then on those days when your day is not filled with meetings, try to stay an extra 5-10 minutes.
Be realistic with your goals, especially when you’re just starting. Increasing frequency and intensity too soon can overwhelm you, making you want to give up.