Fitting Fitness In

July 19th, 2010 by Amy Gonsalves Leave a reply »

Cardiovascular fitness is a big thing for me: I like knowing I can run if I need to, and I like knowing I can keep running longer than most.  I find my long runs perfect opportunities to work out whatever obstacles have arisen in my personal and professional life since my last run.  I enjoy the sense of accomplishment I feel after running X number of miles (when X > 10) and I think it’s fun to tell people at lunch how many miles I ran before they woke up that morning.  I generally think any run less than an hour shouldn’t really qualify as a workout.

Yet I know I’m in the minority.   (It has also taken me nearly a decade of running to reach that point, for the record.  I’ve worked to get there because it was something I wanted to do.)

I’m not saying I’m right and I’m not saying I work harder or less hard than anyone during a workout.  I’m saying that for me, running gives me a lot. 

And it also takes a lot.  A lot of time.

Good thing that several shorter bursts of cardio throughout the day can have multiple benefits for your overall cardiovascular health!

Give yourself 10 minutes before you take a shower in the morning, 10 minutes at lunch and 10 minutes before you read your mail at home, and you’ve squeezed in 30 minutes of cardiovascular activity that day.  You’ll get your metabolism kick started several times throughout your day, you’ll have the energy to make it all the way through your shorter session without too much fatigue, and you won’t have as many mental demons to battle for a shorter workout.

You know you can fit in those 10 minute segments.  Honestly; you know you can

I’m not saying that if you’ve signed up for a 5k all you need to do to prepare yourself for the run is to jog for 10 minutes three times a day.  I’m saying that if your goal is increased cardio health, try taking smaller bites out of the apple and choke down that exercise in a manageable way for yourself. 

My experiences with exercise and my insulin needs deal almost exclusively in exercise sessions longer than 30 minutes.  I know that for me, I need to be exercising at least 15-20 minutes before I sense any drop in my blood sugar (absent any other strange happenings in my day).

When I first started to exercise, I couldn’t jog a block.  If I did, I’d be low within 15 minutes.  So watch yourself and your effort levels and how they affect your blood sugar levels if you are just starting out.  You can easily benefit by having several shorter bursts of exercise spread throughout your day—if you do it regularly enough you may need to lower your overall basal rates due to your increased metabolism.    

Pretty cool.

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