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5 Reasons Why You Should Be Spending Less Time Working Out

5 Reasons Why You Should Be Spending Less Time Working Out

Chances are, if you work out and go to the gym on a regular basis, you probably think that the longer you spend exercising, the better.

And you’re not alone. Most people think that if they had hours every day to devote to cardio, weight lifting, and stretching and recovery, only then would they finally get in the best shape of their lives.

But since you probably don’t have a few extra hours each day to spend exercising, here’s the good news: longer workouts aren’t necessarily better. In fact, you can actually get more done in less time if you work out using an incredibly efficient style of training known as high intensity interval training (HIIT).

So what exactly is HIIT?

HIIT is an exercise strategy alternating periods of short, intense anaerobic exercise with less intense recovery periods.

Basically, that means you’ll be working as hard you possibly can for a short amount of time, resting, then working hard again. And an entire HIIT session usually only lasts for about 10 to 20 minutes.

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While traditional HIIT involves forms of cardio like sprinting, cycling and even swimming, you can include all kinds of exercises like burpees, pull-ups, kettlebell swings and push-ups for a much shorter yet more effective workout.

Here are five reasons why you should spend less time working out and embrace HIIT.

1. It removes the “I don’t have time” excuse

What do you think the #1 excuse is for not working out?

That’s right: lack of time.

Over and over, well intentioned people who plan on working out will let their plans fall through because they just don’t have time.

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And really, who has an extra hour or two a day to spend in a gym? Not busy people; that’s for sure.

But that’s the thing about HIIT: since it only takes 10-20 minutes to complete, it makes the “I don’t have time” excuse completely moot. Because I don’t care how busy you are, you can find a few extra minutes a day for some heart pounding, sweat pouring exercise.

2. It’s more efficient

If you hate to run, but have always assumed that running for endless periods of time is the best way to lose weight, here’s some good news: you’re wrong.

Shorter, more intense workouts will actually help you burn fat, build muscle and increase your endurance faster than running at a steady pace. In fact, you can make more progress in just 15 minutes of HIIT than you can running for an entire hour.

That makes it the ideal training method for anyone looking to lose weight, get stronger or even train for a race as quickly and efficiently as possible.

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3. It burns more calories

If you’re trying to shed a few (or several) pounds, you’ll be happy to know that just 10 minutes of intense exercise like HIIT can burn more calories than half an hour of running on a treadmill.

And not only does HIIT burn more calories in less time than steady state cardio, it also helps boost your metabolism for the next 24-48 hours afterwards—meaning you’ll continue to burn more calories long after your workout is over.

4. It burns fat (instead of muscle)

When you do cardio for hours on end to lose weight, you will lose weight as long as you’re eating right as well. But not only will long treadmill, elliptical and cycling sessions cause you to lose fat, you’ll also be losing muscle in the process too.

Why is this an issue? Well, other than the obvious reasons (muscles sculpt your body and make you strong), muscle loss means a lowered metabolism as well. And a lower metabolism means you’ll be burning less calories naturally though out the day—meaning you’ll have to work harder to continue losing weight.

On the other hand, the short, intense bursts required by interval training ensures your body burns more calories from fat, not muscle. In fact, HIIT can help you burn fat faster than any other form of exercise, which is why athletes, bodybuilders and regular gym-goers alike swear by it when they want to reduce body fat.

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5. It gets you results quicker

Even if you’re doing longer steady state cardio workouts on a consistent basis, it might take up to a month (or more) before you start noticing any results. And as a worse case scenario, your body might get so used to the workouts that you cease to make any progress at all.

But with HIIT workouts, you may start noticing and feeling results in as little as two weeks—or less.

In fact, there’s a good chance you will start feeling faster, stronger and physically fitter after doing only a few HIIT sessions. And think about how that progress will add up over a month or more!

But remember, the harder you push yourself during your workouts, the faster you’ll see results.

So work hard, be consistent, and you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish in a short amount of time.

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Last Updated on December 2, 2019

10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today

10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today

Plato knew that the body and mind are intimately linked. And in the late 1800s, the Mayo brothers, famous physicians, estimated that over half of all hospital beds are filled with people suffering from frustration, anxiety, worry and despair. Causes of worry are everywhere, in our relationships and our jobs, so it’s key we find ways to take charge of the stress.

In his classic book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, Dale Carnegie offers tools to ditch excessive worrying that help you make a worry-free environment for your private and professional life.

These are the top 10 tips to grab worry by the horns and wrestle it to the ground:

1. Make Your Decision and Never Look Back

Have you ever made a decision in life only to second-guess it afterwards? Of course you have! It’s hard not to wonder whether you’ve done the right thing and whether there might still be time to take another path.

But keep this in mind: you’ve already made your decision, so act decisively on it and dismiss all your anxiety about it.

Don’t stop to hesitate, to reconsider, or to retrace your steps. Once you’ve chosen a course of action, stick to it and never waver.

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2. Live for Today, Package Things up in “Day-Tight Compartments”

You know that feeling: tossing, turning and worrying over something that happened or something that might, well into the wee hours. To avoid this pointless worrying, you need “day-tight compartments”. Much as a ship has different watertight compartments, your own “day-tight” ones are a way to limit your attention to the present day.

The rule is simple: whatever happened in the past or might happen in the future must not intrude upon today. Everything else has to wait its turn for tomorrow’s box or stay stuck in the past.

3. Embrace the Worst-Case Scenario and Strategize to Offset It

If you’re worried about something, ask yourself: “What’s the worst thing that could happen?” Could you lose your job? Be jailed? Get killed?

Whatever the “worst” might be, it’s probably not so world-ending. You could probably even bounce back from it!

If, for example, you lose your job, you could always find another. Once you accept the worst-case scenario and get thinking about contingency plans, you’ll feel calmer.

4. Put a Lid on Your Worrying

Sometimes we stress endlessly about negative experiences when just walking away from them would serve us far better.

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To make squashing that worry easier, try this strategy, straight from stock traders: it’s called the “stop-loss” order, where shares are bought at a certain price, and then their price development is observed. If things go badly and the share price hits a certain point, they are sold off immediately. This stops the loss from increasing further.

In the same manner, you can put a stop-loss order on things that cause you stress and grief.

5. Fake It ‘Til You Make It – Happiness, That Is

We can’t directly influence how we feel, but we can nudge ourselves to change through how we think and act.

If you’re feeling sad or low, slap a big grin on your face and whistle a chipper tune. You’ll find it impossible to be blue when acting cheerful. But you don’t necessarily need to act outwardly happy; you can simply think happier thoughts instead.

Marcus Aurelius summed it up aptly:

“Our life is what our thoughts make it.”

6. Give for the Joy of Giving

When we perform acts of kindness, we often do so with the expectation of gratitude. But harboring such expectations will probably leave you disappointed.

One person well aware of this fact was the lawyer Samuel Leibowitz. Over the course of his career, Leibowitz saved 78 people from going to the electric chair. Guess how many thanked him? None.

So stop expecting gratitude when you’re kind to someone. Instead, take joy from the act yourself.

7. Dump Envy – Enjoy Being Uniquely You

Your genes are completely unique. Even if someone had the same parents as you, the likelihood of someone identical to you being born is just one in 300,000 billion.

Despite this amazing fact, many of us long to be someone else, thinking the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. But living your life this way is pointless. Embrace your uniqueness and get comfortable with who you really are: How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

8. Haters Will Hate — It Just Means You’re Doing It Right

When you’re criticized, it often means you’re accomplishing something noteworthy. In fact, let’s take it a step further and consider this: the more you’re criticized, the more influential and important a person you likely are.

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So the next time somebody talks you down, don’t let it get to you. Take it as a compliment!

9. Chill Out! Learn to Rest Before You Get Tired

Scientists agree that emotions are the most common cause of fatigue. And it works the other way around, too: fatigue produces more worries and negative emotions.

It should be clear, therefore, that you’ve got to relax regularly before you feel tired. Otherwise, worries and fatigue will accumulate on top of each other.

It’s impossible to worry when you are relaxed, and regular rest helps you maintain your ability to work effectively.

10. Get Organized and Enjoy Your Work

There are few greater sources of misery in life than having to work, day in, day out, in a job you despise. It would make sense then that you shouldn’t pick a job you hate, or even just dislike doing.

But say you already have a job. How can you make it more enjoyable and worry-free? One way is to stay organized: a desk full of unanswered mails and memos is sure to breed worries.

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Better yet, rethink about the job you’re doing: What to Do When You Hate Your Job but Want a Successful Career

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Featured photo credit: Tyler Nix via unsplash.com

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