In an earlier blog post “Benefits of exercise”, we mentioned the physical and mental benefits of exercise. Now we are going to go into the specifics of how to exercise.
Your biggest hurdle might sound like this, “I know exercise is good for me. But I just can’t bring myself to do it.”
Or this, “I am a full time student. Where do I find the time to exercise? Unless you are telling me to join one of those boring sports CCA where they force me to train every day. I don’t want to!”
Don’t worry, I know exactly how you feel.
I used to be a long distance runner in secondary school. I was even quite good at it, representing my school to take part in the National Cross Country Competition. But I hated it. Do you know why? Because it was tiring. Extremely tiring. My usual workout comprised of running one hour around the school, but by the 15-minute mark, my brain was already screaming “stop, stop, stop!” and my muscles were all threatening to go on a strike (which, technically, is not allowed in Singapore without giving a 2 weeks’ notice). So once I went to JC, I picked the slackest (mind) sports CCA possible – Bridge Club.
But faced with increasing weight gain, I decided to start doing rigorous exercises again. And I did quite some research too. Here are a few tips that will hopefully help you to start moving again.
As you can tell by now, I am not a great fan of endurance running. Which brings us to interval training.
Interval training is a physical training which alternates between short periods of full out sprint and short periods of slower jog. For instance, I run 100 metres as fast as I can, then I jog at my 2.4km run speed for 100 metres, then I run 100 metres as fast as I can again… you get the idea. My training ends when I have covered 1.6km. That takes me less than 10 minutes.
Wow, pushing myself hard for just 10 minutes? I can work with that. You can too. Additionally, according to The Telegraph (2011), scientists have found that “a number of brief bursts of exercise [are] better for your heart and circulation than the equivalent long distance training.”
However, if your intention is to lose weight, then long distance running is the preferable choice. By exercising for a longer duration, you use your slow twitch muscle fibres which are good at burning fat.
Do more of what you love
Like to dance but only attend dance class once a week? Go to youtube and dance along to your favourite dance videos!
Here is one for you to dance along to.
If you like ball games, then bring a basketball or a netball or a soccer ball to school. Who said that recess is just for eating? Go out into the sun or the hall and have some fun with your buddies! Show off those mad shooting skills.
Incorporate exercises into everything you do
Stop complaining about climbing the stairs to your classroom. Embrace those stairs. Stop walking like a sloth. Add a little bounce to your steps. Stop neglecting your dog. Start walking it. Stop gazing at your crush from afar. Start stepping on the back of her shoes and run away when she tries to hit you. (This is provided you already know her. If not, you will just be a creepy stalker).
So now, stop reading this article. You know that exercise is good for you, and you know how to exercise. Why not go outside and work those muscles?