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A Workout That Works

I know that exercise is at the top of mostly everyone’s priority list this month. Trust me, I’m a trainer and the gym has been crazy busy lately. Whether you’ve thought about exercising and just haven’t started yet, or even if you’re going strong but somehow seem to always lose momentum after January 31st, I’m here to help! Empirelista’s are busy, so I’m going to share one of my favorite workouts to do on a time crunch. This workout method is extremely effective in torching calories, improving cardiovascular endurance…I won’t bore you with terminology, but if you take my word – it works!

The 30 workout that works:

5 minutes: warm up

20 minutes: intervals

5 minutes: cool down + stretch

It’s essential to always warm up before beginning your workout. I recommend a brisk walk, light jog, jumping jacks, or a steady pace on any cardio machine for at least 5 minutes. Listen to your body. The goal is to get your body moving, heart pumping, and blood flowing.

Please note: stretching in place (also known as static stretching) is not considered a warm up. If you need to stretch, do so after about 5 minutes of movement and perform a longer stretch at the end of the workout.

The basic structure of this interval workout is simple to remember and transfer to just about anywhere – whether you’re at the gym, in your office or outdoors. What you will do is alternate between a high and low intensities until you complete 20 full minutes. High intensity mode will last 1 minute and low intensity, 2 minutes.

Let’s say you’re using a treadmill. You will run fast for 1 minute (high intensity), then walk for 2 minutes (low intensity), then run fast for 1 minute, then walk for 2 minutes, and repeat this sequence until time is up. If you’re not a fan of the treadmill, no worries!  You can use any cardio machine of your choice, including a stationary bike, elliptical, or StairMaster. If you don’t have the time or desire to go to the gym, still, no worries! This workout can be performed at a park, trail, track, sidewalk, staircase, field, etc. The idea is to alternate between modes of high and low intensity – however, and wherever that may translate for you.

Regardless of your current fitness level, this workout can be modified to meet you right where you are. As you advance, it can also advance. For example, try increasing your pace during the high intensity mode or decreasing the time duration of the low intensity mode, or both!

After completing 20 minutes of intervals, gradually decrease your pace and begin the cool down and stretching segment. Focus on taking deep and controlled breaths to lower your heart rate. Just like warming up, cooling down for a few minutes after a workout is extremely important, so be sure not to skip this part.

That doesn’t sound too bad, does it? Think about it this way: a 30 minute workout only takes up 2% of your entire day. Seems more doable now, right? How about we commit now, while the year is still fresh, to consistently schedule at least 2% of our day to nurturing our physical health through exercise? I promise it will be worth it.'
Lana is a certified Personal Trainer and Group Fitness Instructor based in Atlanta, GA. You can follow her on Instagram @LanaTrains.

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