If you’re looking to improve your health and fitness but don’t have much time to work out, strength training could be the answer to both of those problems. Strength training can reduce your risk of death and disease, help you lose weight, lower your blood pressure, reduce your stress levels, and improve your self-esteem – all in less than an hour per week! Here are some tips on how to strength train for the busy working professional.
Most adults don’t get nearly enough strength training, but it’s important to set yourself up for success. You may not be able to work out an hour a day, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do something. Ten minutes here and there makes a big difference when added up. And that ten minutes of strength training can have another positive impact on your life:
It might save it! Research has shown that those who perform even less than an hour of strength training per week can lower their risk of death by as much as 14%. The stronger you are, especially if you’re in middle age or beyond, the more likely you are to live longer.
6 Tips to Fit in a Workout
The key to a successful workout schedule is flexibility. The fact is, you don’t have to set aside an hour every day or even three times a week. If you only have 30 minutes, try these tips:
- Use your lunch break
- Get up early and head out
- Stick with low-impact exercises like yoga
- walking on an incline treadmill
Partner up with a friend who can help motivate you in shorter workouts more often instead of trying to cram it all into one marathon session.
Follow the 60/30/10 Routine
The beauty of strength training is that you can do it anywhere, so make it part of your routine. While ideally, we should all hit the gym three times a week and complete 60 minutes of intense strength training, our schedules just don’t always allow for it. The good news is that doing just three 20-minute sessions per week can drastically lower your risk of death—as long as they’re done with heavy weight.
The general rule is to do 10 repetitions on each exercise at 60 percent effort, followed by 30 repetitions at 30 percent effort and another 10 reps at 60 percent effort again (using heavier weights). You might not see results right away—but in less than an hour a week you will be reducing your risk of death.
3 Moves That Will Transform your Body
To get lean and strong, you only need to perform three strength moves: deadlifts, squats, and push-ups. What are deadlifts? Deadlifts target your backside as well as other muscle groups. The movement is a combination of bending over to lift the weight from ground level (which engages your legs) and then standing up (which engages your core).
What are squats? Squats work a ton of muscles including those in your lower body as well as those in your upper body. Plus they increase flexibility throughout these muscle groups. What are push-ups? A classic strength move that targets both arms, shoulders, chest, abdomen, thighs, and back.
Ten More Strength Training Tips For The Busy Professional
You don’t need to exercise in a gym three times a week to reap major health benefits. In fact, you only need about an hour of strength training per week to improve your risk of death. almost all of us can find that hour somewhere—you might even be able to sneak it into your lunch break! Here are ten more tips for getting started
When Should I Strength Train?
While most people tend to focus on cardio workouts when trying to stay fit, strength training is also important and can have surprising benefits. Research shows that less than an hour of strength training a week can lower your risk of death—in fact, it’s about as effective as jogging for 30 minutes a day. For busy professionals who want to live a long and healthy life, just 30 minutes of strength training a week is more than enough!
How Often Should I Strength Train?
A 2008 study found that as little as 3 days of strength training per week can lower your risk of death by 15 percent. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a minimum of 2 days per week, with even more benefits if you’re able to exercise 4-5 times per week. There are many benefits to working out just once or twice a week, but if you’re looking to gain muscle, or tone up.
You’ll need to do it more often than that. Keep in mind: training less than once a week may increase your risk of death by 50 percent! So it’s important not to slack off when it comes to your workouts.
When Should I Eat Before or After My Workout?
If you’re looking to lose weight and keep it off, strength training is key. But if you work out later in the day or often have your mind on other things during workouts, it can be difficult to determine when to eat. In order to maximize your efforts and reach your health goals, avoid skipping meals before working out—even if you’re not very hungry.
Skipping breakfast (or any meal) can contribute to a decrease in metabolism and can leave you feeling tired during workouts. It’s better to wait until your body has signaled that it’s ready for food before eating anything; otherwise, nutrient absorption will be delayed.
What About Supplements?
Don’t get me wrong, protein shakes are great and a lot of us need them, but they should be one piece of a larger pie. If you look closely at most fitness magazines or take a walk down any grocery store aisle, you’ll see that fitness supplements can be just as big (and small) business as real food.
In fact, $31 billion dollars is spent on supplements every year; it’s huge! This brings up an important point about personal health: always consult your doctor before taking any supplements.