Other Tricks On How To Fit Fitness Into Your Life
By John Winters
are great, but they can wreak havoc on a workout schedule.
Now that you're old enough to be a dad, staying fit is more important
than ever. Men who hit the couch instead of the gym lose about seven
pounds of muscle a decade. In other words, if you don't stay active
you may soon look like that guy at work who hasn't seen his toes in
But with work and raising a family, finding time to log those miles
and rack up those reps can seem impossible. Here are some tips on
how you can fit an excellent workout into your hectic lifestyle:
Less Is More.... Or At Least Enough.
used to be that you'd have to spend hours a week at the gym to get
a buff bod. The good news is studies show you can get nearly the same
results with a third of the work.
"If you're training to increase your health and to optimize your
fitness, you certainly can have a very focused workout that makes
the most of your time," said Richard Cotton, chief exercise physiologist
with First Fitness Inc. in Salt Lake City.
So say goodbye to those multiple sets of arduous pumping, and instead
choose just ten exercises, and do one set of ten reps each. Devote
a full minute to each set, concentrating on the major muscle groups,
and in ten minutes you're pumped.
With Less Pain.
only can you reduce your number of sets, you can cut your weekly workouts
from three to two, said Wayne Westcott, Ph.D., fitness research director
at the South Shore YMCA in Quincy, Mass. Men who workout twice a week
using the above regimen get 85 percent of the benefit as men who hit
the iron three times weekly, shedding fat and packing on the muscle
as they do it, he said.
At Home, Dad.
the gym and stay home. There's plenty of home fitness equipment out
there, and some of it can even involve the whole family. The Trazer
allows you to strap on a special electronic eye and become a human
joystick, bobbing and weaving as you try to hit flying balls on a
video monitor. The Trazer provides a full-body workout for up to three
people at once, and will soon be available in a home model (www.trazer.com).
Not ready for a virtual workout? Get an elliptical trainer, the hottest
machine in fitness these days. Like a cross between a stair climber
and a Nordic track, elliptical trainers work the arms and legs, while
providing an aerobic workout. It does everything but mind the kids
while you exercise. Or, you can go low tech, and spend a few dollars
to turn your basement into a home gym. Get a jump rope and a heavy
bag, both of which will give you an aerobic and strength conditioning
workout. Add a set of barbells for about $50 and you'll quickly turn
into the neighborhood Rocky without ever leaving the house.
who's ever chased a child around knows they can be the best fitness
machines of all. Take advantage of this by heading to a local park,
recommended David Goodwin, owner of Phoenix Academy, a fitness and
development program for children in Avon, Mass.
"Have fun with your child and get a good workout at the same
time," he said.
Use the monkey bars to do pull-ups, dips and reverse stomach crunches.
A simple game of hide and seek or catch can be aerobic if done correctly.
So can a piggyback ride around the football field, which will power
up those back, shoulder and leg muscles.
Off The Sidelines.
as a coach for one of your youngster's teams. Be sure to join in for
those suicide sprints, and hit the dirt and show the kids what a real
set of push-ups looks like.
Or become a referee, and burn hundreds of calories a game.
Still no time for exercise? Remember all you need is 30 minutes most days of the week, and research shows that you can break this up into three ten-minute sessions throughout the day and still benefit. You can even fit in 15 of these short sessions throughout the week, said Glenn Gaesser, professor of exercise physiology at the University of Virginia. You'll still see improvements in your fitness, with plenty of time left to spend with the family.
John Winters lives in Massachussetts and writes frequently about fitness and sports.
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