Getting fit or exercising more is probably one of the most common goals when it comes to New Years Resolutions. Most people are usually motivated in the beginning and are inspired to work towards their goals, but as we all know many fall off the band-wagon not long after. 

Let’s explore (arguably) two of the main reasons  why many do not follow through with their intentions.

Lack of Time

Most of us tend to believe that we have to set aside many hours per week to get fit  slogging away on a treadmill or similar, however the latest research is showing that even the most time-poor of us have an effective avenue to pursue in order to achieve great results in terms of fitness. 

Scientists have discovered that brief bursts of intense exercise is just as effective as traditional endurance training, this is commonly referred to as Interval Training or High Intensive Training (HIT). I have provided a link to one of these researches (by Dr Martin Gibala) below for more information:

This “1 minute workout” involves 2 minutes of warm up, with 3 intervals of 20 seconds of highly intensive cycling (which comprise of 1 minute) with 10 seconds of low intensive cycling in between, followed by 3 minutes of cool down. 

If you are just starting your exercise journey and this suggested workout seems a stretch don’t dismay, you can vary it and come up with your own interval training starting point. 

Take walking as an example, instead of walking at the same speed, you can start with speed walking for 20 seconds from say, one lamp post to another and then slowing down to your normal speed. If you have the cardio capacity, you could try sprinting from one lamp post to another, with brisk walking in between your intervals. The key is to set some realistic goals, just 5 minutes three times a week could be all that you need to make a great start.

Not getting results:

Many exercise because they want to lose weight, but most of us don’t measure what weight they are losing. Are you losing fat? Are you losing muscle mass? 

I see many people at the gym doing long cardio workouts, but many of them don’t appear to achieve great results. Consider the physique of a marathon runner and a sprinter. The comparison I like to site is that of the marathon runner being very much like a ship about to capsize. The captain of the boat is frantically trying to throw any heavy possessions of the ship to keep afloat. The body under so much stress that it is breaks down muscles, shedding anything the body can no longer afford to sustain. A process referred to as catabolism. 

Don’t misunderstand, there is a place for cardio workout, but one can overdo it and over stress the body.

If you really want to know what you are losing, then weighing yourself on a normal scale is not enough, as it only tells you your mass. It does not differentiate your fat from your muscle mass. To keep track in this manner, the best advice is to find somewhere that uses the most reliable way of measuring body composition. That way you will be keeping a close eye on your progress and hopefully finding inspiration from the great results you’re achieving. The best “machine” which measures your bioelectrical impedance (for body composition measurement) have hand held electrodes to provide extra readings on your arms, legs and abdominal area.

What does bioelectrical impedance measure? It measures the resistance of body tissues to the flow of a small, harmless electrical signal. Current flows more easily through the parts of the body that are composed mostly of water (blood, urine and muscle) than it does through bone, fat or air.

If you find that you are losing fat, that’s great, keep doing what you are doing. However, if you are losing muscle mass and having trouble shifting the fat, it is time to review what you are doing and seek some professional advice if you are not already doing so. 

Remember that it is not the quantity of exercise you are doing, it is the quality. It is not the amount of time you put into it, it is how efficient you are with your time. 

If you have any medical conditions, you should always seek medical advice before embarking on any exercise program.

Leave a comment