As I said in my last blog I would help you with some tricks for how to increase the duration of your exercise sessions and more importantly how to fit them in around a busy forty-something-married-with-kids or thirty something working all the hours lifestyle
Realise what steals away your spare time. The worst for this in many western countries, especially the UK and USA, is working masses of unpaid, non transferable overtime hours. You are in avoidance if you are fat. You are avoiding conflict by not pushing back. You are often for most average employees working hours which will get your boss promoted and your director a pay rise, not you. Bolchy I hear you say? There are plenty books to make you more efficient at your job by spotting time wasters and time wasting activity and learning to prioritise.
Well there are hundred of time bandits every day at work especially and some at home.
Let us though say ok, to hell with that, you must work and/or do family stuff all week and have no time for any long sessions of exercise. Okay then we are looking at getting five hours out of effectively 30 woken hours from friday afternoon cessation of work week to sunday evening good night story. One sixth of that will be used on your waist line and building a better cardiovascular system.
Firstly to say, moderate intensity exercise is relaxing and recreational!!! The stress of sweating like hell, collapsing on the floor, leaving with acheing muscles is not there. You can start very lightly and build up from your 40 minute current base line as a sporty-fatty dabbler in exercise very easily.
Take saturday morning. Kids at TV, saturday supplement in hand, tens cups of coffee....get your arse out and go do a gentle joggy walky tour for two hours, think about planning the rest of the weekend, gather your thoughts from the week, listen to an interesting radio show or talking book on the mp3 player. Same goes for sunday am> on this regime you will be avoiding drinking alcohol much, limited to two beers a week and half a bottle of wine each day evening on friday and saturday. No hangover, everyone else doing very little, get out.
The other dead time I find is late saturday afternoon after the shopping is done and the kids are picked up.
Squeezing and Stretching
So you see you can squeeze things into those 30 hours at the weekend, and allow maybe a one evening window for a two hour session by letting some e-mail chains answer themselves.
Another big benefit of doing moderate exercise with only 50/65% max heart rate is that you can start exercise much sooner after you eat dinner during the week, or at the weekends. So after a light meal you can be out half an hour afterwards while you arre still digesting your food. Hey presto, a mid week session is in the bag and you can still put the kids to bed or go and read some e/mails for an hour at night. Also your lower intensity will mean that you sleep better than having done shorter, higher intensity sessions which start an hour after your dinner.
So you can squeeze things in even with a 'busy' lifestyle, but for many single sporty-fatties you will need to stretch out more than you squeeze. You maybe do a couple of training sessions a week and then say play a full 90 minute rugby match or five a side football match, or XC running hack at the weekend.
You need then to stretch out your sessions, while also moderating down their intensity given you know that they have been 80-90% hard work outs .
The simplest way to do this effectively I believe is to build up over a three week period. Firstly sessions which were 40 minutes in the gymn, get stretched to 50 minutes, then an hour and ten minutes and so on. Commuting work outs get a detour, probably best with some form of circular route or one you can cut short if you do get really tired or bored. Build up is the key there.
Variation. To keep up interest, especially in the gymn, vary what you do within the session. Also you can vary outdoor sessions by route or type< cycling is very easy for anyone to build up to two hours tours on because it is low impact and you have gears to enable a steady power input over varying terrain. On that topic, use your terrain cycle (MTB or hybrid) on trickier paths and longer gradients, taking it easier and being in the woods so to speak . Then as an alternative, become an accidental tourist and combine various routes to sight see or go places you never bothered to look at before, see how new building work is getting on and so on.
if you already have a team activity or sociable training session in your weekly plan, then it is likely that this is say spinning or five a side. You need to talk to the team, coach or mates and explain that you need to take it easier a little during the session because you are aiming for endurance training. Then you can add a warm up and prolonged warm down to the core hour session, and hey presto you have stretched it out to two hours. Maybe some of your friends will join you. A mid week club sprinty cycle ride may then get a splinter group who do two to three hours of slower steady training.
Take another sport, swimming. It takes a very dedicated athlete to takle two hours of chlorine and so on, but building up to an hour session and maybe that is one and a half miles , 100 legnths of a 25 m pool. Then combine this with jogging lightly to the pool and jogging home, or cycling, or walking with a heavy pack.
Finally coming back to our modern hectic lifestyle, we go from seat to seat, and I know myself that I have driven as long as forty minutes to get to a gym each way of an evening. In urban traffic this could well be quicker by cycling or even jogging to the gym. Choose then a gym within walking distance or either your work or home, or en route between the two to which you can combine the commute to during the week, mornings or evenings, or at the weekend where an hour in the gymn with half an hour each side commute will whizz by. The same can be done with team activities, but then that may mean going down to the B team or taking a different position with agreement from the coach where more moderate intensity can be sustained> defence in stead of mid field for example.
Combining with Family
Combining with the family can be tricky especially with small kids who cannot keep going for longer than a half an hour or so. The best way with small kids is to get a bike seat for them or a twins-trailer. However do not expect them to sit there for more than 20 minutes at a time> rather, combine this part of the cycle tour with delivering them to friends or an activity, and then use the bike alone. Commuting once again, or just having some time foryourself while your spouse plays with the kids, while stealing maybe as much as an hour by commuting.
Alternatively for walking or XC ski tours is to carry a pack of 10/15kg or more and do a two hour family tour, where you keep moving about when the family take those little breaks, just up and down in the tracks or on the spot a bit.
As kids get older, some of their sports activities become longer and you can then do the commuting thing and train while they are at the sport at the same facility. Sometimes as in swimming clubs, you will find that there
is a lane for parents you maybe didnt know about (they keep it a bit quiet so it doesnt get too busy) Getting your kids used to physical commuting will set them up for life with a good attitude to burning calories instead of driving everywhere.
Stealing From Base
So you see that this is all about the already sporty, but fatty, who has used the car invariably to go from A to B to sport. What we are talking about is upping the base time by varioous wee cheats as as well as just stretching out the duration in your three weeks of the regime. For me it was easier> I come from cycling and enjoy long tours in the hills or back woods, so I was able to up my sessions to two hours immediately when the XC ski season began, and then build up my cycling to two hour sessions within a couple of weeks of beginning. I prefer to go out on the bike twice a week for two hours when it is dry, and then have one brisk walk of around two hours. I have found that with moderate intensity I often spend a bit longer than anticipated out, especially when walking, while also the reverse, if I have a good run on my bike on a usual route and complete it quicker, I then go round the block so to speak for upto half an hour at the end, or extend the turning point out. As the XC season approaches I am interested in trying roller skis, or alternatively joining a gymn or club with facilities for indoor skiing machines. My local gym is only ten minutes brisk walk away, but I can easily extend that by various routes of upto half an hour without them being ridiculous detours.