You know the old saying, “No pain, no gain.” You can forget it.
Your exercise program doesn’t have to be hard. A major study that JAMA, the journal of the American Medical Association published a few years ago, determined that you cut your risk of heart disease even if you do only light to moderate walking. The amount of time is more important than your pace. It is still the deed, not the speed.
And you don’t have to do it all in one fell swoop. In fact, a new study in The Journal of Applied Physiology, just reached that counter-intuitive conclusion.
If you want to burn fat, then it’s actually better to break up your exercise with a rest period or two than to work out continually in one long bout of punishment. That’s good news for the majority of us who really don’t like pain. And who doesn’t want to burn fat?
Some people are out of shape because they think exercise is boring. Forget that too. The key is choosing something you enjoy. I think it’s easiest to be excited about what I’m doing when I’m walking a trail. There’s always something new, even if I have been down that path hundreds of times. Walking with a partner also keeps it interesting, although I like the solitude of walking alone.
But even when you work out at home, you can make time pass quicker by reading a magazine, listening to music or a book on your iPod, or watching television. Alternatively, you can just use that time to clear your mind.
Your exercise can simply be something you do for yourself on a busy day. But paradoxically by getting in a better mood, it can help others too.
But just don’t forget to start your exercise.
This article is based on an earlier version of my article published by HealthCentral.