By Meredith Nelson for Island Eye News
Calling all Fitbit, Apple Watch, and other fitness tech device users, lovers, and addicts … you know who you are, and you undoubtedly have goals to reach. Perhaps it’s hitting 10,000 steps or exercising a certain number of minutes. But how valuable are those numbers? Not very, if you’re exercising at the same intensity day after day, workout after workout.
Do you find yourself on the treadmill for hours a week? Perhaps you enjoy reading the newspaper on the elliptical to get your news fix. Or do you get out and ride your bike leisurely, cycling end-to-end on the island? If that describes you, you are to be commended. You know you need to exercise and you have made fitness a priority. Now, let’s talk.
Your body responds to stress. Your body does not respond to the same things over and over, time after time. So you have to shake things up.
It’s not hard … High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), although it sounds frightful, it’s really, well, dare I call it fun? It provides a distraction (you’re focused on the counting short segments, or intervals, of seconds instead of watching the minutes tick by). It gives you small goals to accomplish, instead of lofty ones to aspire to (30 seconds of working hard sounds much more tolerable than 30 minutes on the treadmill). The good news is that one short interval-training session can do more for you than an hour on an exercise machine. So yes, sometimes less is more. Just two or three such sessions a week incorporated into your already established regimen can take your routine from boring to blast-off.
Not only does your body actually like and respond to the stress of quality interval training, but your body actually craves variety. So if you’re a treadmill guy, try the elliptical. A barre girl? Try adding weight training to your routine. Even if you like one particular workout, change something about it – perhaps the intensity or duration. Weight lifting sessions can even be different – once you master a move, change it. Adding such variety to your workouts also improves the quality of your overall fitness program.
So if you are hitting a plateau and not seeing results, or if you find yourself getting bored with your workouts, it may be time to add some quality to the quantity of your workouts. Of course, if you need help revising your routine, the professional staff of personal trainers and group fitness instructors at PrimeTime Fitness are here to help, and are just a short trip off the island.
Meredith Nelson, M.Ed, is the owner of PrimeTime Fitness, Inc, in Mt. Pleasant. Certified through AFAA in Group Fitness, ACE as a Personal Trainer and Medical Exercise Specialist, and TPI as a golf fitness professional, Meredith has been bringing fitness to the East Cooper area for over twenty years. Since 2000, PrimeTime Fitness has catered to the mature exerciser and offers personal and small group training, indoor cycling, yoga, golf fitness training, monthly gym membership, and more. Meredith can be reached with your fitness questions at 843.883.0101, or Meredith@primetimefit.net.