Bite it with Britt column: Micro-workouts help beginners
November 28, 2016
Let's be real, micro-workouts sound better than the alternative. Lengthy, extensive, repetitive and seemingly endless workouts are fun for fitness nuts, but what about beginners?
While sitting in traffic, our minds can create amazing excuses to avoid activity, adding to the stress pile, making you drive right by the gym and the mountains (the mountains are many peoples' secret gym).
Time gets away from us as we all struggle to fit everything into our crowded lives. Often, there is little time for fitness as it's surrounded by looming piles of responsibilities and distractions.
The micro-workout lets you sneak in enough fitness to stay healthy with even the busiest schedule.
Beginners, don't think that you have to jump right into a 60-minute intense push-up class to get anywhere. Micro-workouts help you to chip away at fitness goals by slowly bringing up your levels of intensity and duration.
Beginners must start slow because you have very low levels of glycogen (stored energy in your muscles). You will "bonk" quickly attempting long workouts and be tempted to quit since this feeling is no fun. The point of starting small workouts and building up is to train your body to get more efficient at using up stored glycogen and burning fat to build it back up.
Exercising for 5-15 minutes randomly, sporadically, at variable levels of intensity and at different times of the day actually kick-starts both your metabolism and your mood. Technically named "play," children do this naturally until we entirely suppress this fundamental inherent trait with enough behavior modification to make us as healthy as we all currently are.
Reset yourself after enduring long periods of holding the same position (driving, office job, endless meetings after driving to them, etc.) with the micro-workout.
Micro-workout examples for sedentary people:
Jog in place for 15 minutes at your cubicle (just kidding, but this would be fun for the rest of the office).
Walk briskly outdoors for 15 minutes at lunch.
Get a quick three-exercise circuit at the gym — even if you don't have the time.
Walk the dog for another 15 minutes.
Micro-workout examples for active types:
You active people need just the opposite. You need to use the micro-workout time to stretch, foam roll, drink water, etc. Use this time for restorative purposes. Get 15 minutes of silence or anything to detune your body to stimulate recovery and buffer the effects of repetitive stress.
The micro-workout is only a supplement to longer duration, higher intensity workouts that you really need to be healthy and fit. The micro-workout helps deconditioned people slowly build up the physiology and confidence necessary for long-term health.
Brittney Glock is a performance fitness nutrition specialist and personal trainer at Midland Fitness. Her expertise in women's fitness and nutrition is based on years of living a healthy lifestyle as a working mother of three. Contact Britt at 945-4440.