Guests and friends often say that they don’t exercise regularly because they don’t have an hour to spend. And they think less than an hour isn’t worth it. It’s easy to fall into this “all or nothing” mindset when we all know that any amount of exercise is way better for our bodies than sitting on the couch.
If you don’t have an hour to exercise, start with just 20 minutes! Remember that a 20-minute walk burns about 100 calories (160-lb person, 3.5mph). In fact, if all you did was 20 minutes of cardio, six days a week, controlled your portion sizes, ate a healthy diet the majority of the time and reduced the amount of toxins (smoking, alcohol, sugar, etc.) that you put into your body, the results would amaze you.
When our guests are just beginning this new healthy lifestyle, I recommend beginning with only 20 minutes of exercise as many days a week as possible (along with a healthy nutrient-dense diet, of course). If I have a client who is going from no exercise along with unhealthy eating habits – the quickest way to lead them to failure is to overload them with too much exercise. So take baby steps to change your lifestyle. And set incremental, obtainable goals to achieve long-term success.
Now, with that said, when you have time to do a 30, 40, 60 or more-minute workout – DO IT! It’s great for your heart and will burn lots of calories! Plus you will have more energy and sleep better. It’s a win, win.
So, next time you say, “I can only get in 20 minutes of cardio today – I guess I will just skip it because it won’t do any good” – just remember this post. And then go get on that treadmill!