Psychotherapist, Author, Speaker

Blog

Robin D. Stone is a New York City based psychotherapist, coach and consultant who works to help you achieve your most optimal self. 

Posts tagged move your body
Fast Fitness for the Workout Weary
 

I recently blogged about interval training, the exciting workout trend that blends high-intensity bursts of activity with periods of rest. Interval training isn’t new; in fact, pro athletes have done it for years. But now there’s a stack of I-T research that should encourage the most sedentary among us to get moving.

bikeclock.jpg

In May I wrote about how a study showed that seven minutes of high-intensity I-T produced the same results as 30 minutes of traditional aerobic movement. Now more research highlights a four-minute exercise program. I don’t know how low you can go, but it seems that, according to this study, you can get fitter and stronger doing just four minutes of exercise several times a week! 

How can you put interval training to use right now? Well, let’s say you typically get your cardio by walking. On certain blocks, or between certain park benches, boost your pace to the max.  Go as fast as you can – or break out in a jog – then slow down to your normal pace for the next block or bench. Do this several times during your outing. That’s a form of interval training.

If you’re a gym rat who likes to mix it up with equipment and running, try these Cross Fit moves.

If you’re into DVD’s or want to invest in a simple, whole-body routine, try 20-Second Fitness, a series of high-intensity moves that will work you in 4-minute segments. And as I’ve mentioned previously, there’s also Insanity, a DVD series of push-you-to-your-limit I-T workouts for those who are already active.

It doesn’t take a lot to reap great health benefit. Even if you have the busiest of schedules, you can find an interval training workout that fits.

Whatever path you choose, be consistent and you’ll see results: Your endurance will grow. Your heart health will improve. Your metabolism will function better. Studies show these health benefits occur largely because your body learns to use oxygen more efficiently.

So give these fast and furious bursts a try. Be careful, though; unless you’re used to exertion, make sure to check with your doc before you jump in. You might find that pushing yourself to the max for a minute – or four or seven or more – certainly has its benefits. And then before you know it, you’re done.

 
More Reasons to Get Up & Move
 
mobamaexercise.jpg

One of the most common complaints from many clients is they just don’t like to exercise. It’s inconvenient, it’s awkward, it’s ... sweaty (especially their hair). They’d rather just cut calories, often through super restrictive dieting and detoxes. Which, we know, can’t last and often lead to rebound weight gain.
 

Folks will debate “dieting” vs. exercise til they are blue in the face, but research shows that even if you eat too much to do you good, exercise will help. One recent study suggests that going from no exercise to some exercise (say, walking briskly for 20 minutes) a day could lower your risk of death. Not disease or disability. Death.

The benefits are not just about weight and waistline; here are other reasons to work out:

Fewer infections: Moderate exercise boosts your immune system. Studies show that people who exercise catch colds less often.

Great sex: Aerobic activity increases blood flow, enhancing your libido. Stretching, yoga and strength training keep you agile and flexible, affecting the intensity and quality of doing the do.

Protection from cancer: Studies have shown that no matter their weight, people who increase their physical activity can reduce the risk of developing colon cancer by 30 to 40 percent compared to those who don’t exercise. Physical activity recues breast cancer risk in premenopausal and postmenopausal women.

Beat stress: Regular aerobic exercise helps reduce stress hormones and promote endorphins, those feel-good hormones. And for some who battle depression, exercise has been proven to be as effective as antidepressant meds.

Slow down aging: Increasing aerobic activity can shave years off your age. One study of highly fit older women and men showed that they had younger people’s levels of balance, reflexes, metabolic health and memory ability.

Mental sharpness: Aerobic exercise increases a protein that’s key to brain health. It contributes to the brain’s ability to maintain old network connections and develop new ones.

Deeper sleep: Get at least 150 minutes of exercise a week, and you’ll enjoy better sleep and feel more alert the next day, one study showed. That is, unless the person you’re sleeping with has apnea. In which case you need to get them on your program. Exercise combats that too.

You don’t have to be a gym rat to get your workout on. Go take a walk – just do it double time. And then reap some of the rewards above. Did I mention great sex? Now that's worth workin' up a sweat. 

Photo illustration from blackwomendoworkout.com

 
A 7 Minute Workout that Works?
 

Have you heard of interval training? It’s at the core of trainer Shaun T’s crazy workout sensation known as Insanity. If you can get through Insanity – even halfway through – high-five to you. If you’re like the rest of us, then you may need to set your sights a little – OK maybe a lot – lower than that hour-long high-intensity drill.

latina_pushup.jpg

Good news: New research backs up the theory behind interval training – where you exercise in intense bursts at maximum capacity with short breaks in between – and suggests that a little goes a long way.

“There’s very good evidence” that high-intensity interval training provides “many of the fitness benefits of prolonged endurance training but in much less time,” Chris Jordan, the director of exercise physiology at the Human Performance Institute in Orlando, Fla., and one of the study’s authors, told The New York Times.

The researchers studied the effects of a seven-minute routine of 30-second bursts of intense activity intermingled with 10-second rest periods. This workout ain’t easy, but researchers likened results to taking a long run and a visit to the weight room. Hmm. Seven minutes of Insanity …

Check out the research and the moves.