"People don't need more time, they need more intensity."
Barbara R. Saranataro - Pilates Instructor and AFAA Certified Fitness Practitioner
One of the main reasons why I love the BodyBoard so much is its format: 30 minutes of high intensity movement - 10 of those minutes get your heart rate up and the other 20 work on full body strength training by combining movements with resistance bands.
The BodyBoard has been my main form of exercise for almost a year. I workout 2-3 times a week - 1.5 hours - which isn't a big investment of my time. In this short amount of time I have seen huge changes in my upper body strength, my hips/butt are slimmer and more toned, and overall I have sense of being very "solid", like a tree with roots deep into the ground.
I'm a firm believer that with the right amount of cardio and intensity, 30 minutes of exercise at a time is all you need to see improvements in your body. Below is an excerpt from the article Fitness Blitz, written by Barbara R. Saranataro on why 3o minute workouts are effective.
What if being too busy to work out was no longer an excuse? What if you could get an effective workout in 30 minutes a day? Think about it: 30 minutes. That's just half an episode of Gray's Anatomy. And an effective 30-minute workout is no pipe dream, says personal trainer Jonathan Ross.
"Everyone thinks that if they don't have an hour, than it's not worth it," says Ross, owner of Aion Fitness in Bowie, Md. "If you need an hour, think about how you feel at 59 minutes and 59 seconds. Then wait a second. Does something magical happen at 60 minutes?"
The answer, of course, is "no".
"Our bodies are responsive to exercise on a continuum, not on a time-based threshold," says Ross, the American Council on Exercise's 2006 Personal Trainer of the Year. "An effective workout can be had in any amount of time, given how you manipulate the variables of the workout."
Fitness expert Petra Kolber agrees.
"Doing something is better than doing nothing," says Kolber, a spokesman for the IDEA Health and Fitness Association and a contributing editor for Health magazine. "Thirty minutes is a realistic time frame for us to take out of our day to take care of ourselves."
What Makes Up a 30-Minute Workout?
To maximize the benefits, your 30-minute workout should consist of both resistance training and cardiovascular training, Ross says.
Ross likes to make a workout two-thirds resistance training and one-third cardiovascular training. In a 30-minute workout, that's 20 minutes of resistance and 10 minutes of cardio. Yes, just 10 minutes. But 10 strong minutes, he says.
"People don't need more time, they just need more intensity," he says. "The body responds more to intensity than it does to the duration of a workout."
A more intense workout burns more calories per minute, and will result in a much stronger post-exercise reaction, says Ross. In essence, he says, when you push the intensity, you traumatize the body (but in a good way).
"The metabolic system sends a message that it needs to make this person a lean, mean, fighting machine," he says.
For resistance training, Ross and Kolber say the important thing is to cover the whole body. Kolber opts for covering many major muscle groups at once, by combining lower- and upper-body exercises. Ross establishes an exercise "template" targeting specific types of movement so that he covers all the major muscle groups and can vary the actual exercises.
"Intensity doesn't have to be a scary word," says Ross. "It's not a Gatorade commercial. It just has to be a little bit more than your body's used to."
And how often should you do the workout? While Kolber recommends doing this type of workout every other day, Ross notes that it's OK to do it two days in a row if that's what fits your schedule.
"They are not like bodybuilding-style routines where the high degree of muscular overload requires full rest to recover," he says. "This is real-life fitness for the rest of us."