Weekly column by fitness experts Adam Wright and Jacqui Watson for the Waterford News & Star, in association with Kingfisher Fitness Club
HI FOLKS! It’s Adam. At the time of writing we’re still “locked in”. I think everyone is hopeful restrictions will be relaxed next week, and maybe by the time you read this they will be, but I’m not holding my breath and even if they are we won’t be completely back to normal for some time I’d imagine.
So let’s talk about a couple of concepts that may help at least slightly improve your health (physical and/or mental) during this difficult and, frankly, at this point, monotonous time.
Every activity burns calories
I’m not going to give you an exhaustive list of what activities burn what Calories but remember even something as “easy” as walking adds up. For example: A male (79-93kg) walking for an hour burns between 270 and 300 calories (The Compendium of Physical Activities (2011)). For that same male a 40 minute HIIT class will burn around 500 calories (Falcone et al. (2015)).
So if you do the math, an hour long walk five or more days a week will potentially burn as many or more calories than taking part in three HIIT classes per week. There will be variation for different body weights and genders and ideally a mix of the two would be good/better but the principle is sound.
I mention this example specifically because social media is currently awash with home workouts that have you jumping around your living room doing “HIIT”, I’ve even posted some myself, I’m not knocking the good will intended by sharing these workouts… but they aren’t for everyone and possibly some of you are struggling to find the will to workout at the moment.
If the primary goal for your exercise is not putting on weight by negating calories consumed this information might help put your mind at ease if you’re finding it hard to enjoy workout classes at home. Just go walking! Of course, in my opinion, it would also be worth looking at your nutrition to figure out why you’re consuming so many more calories than you need… but that’s none of my business #WinkyFace
Just do five minutes
As already stated. it can be really hard to find the motivation to do a workout sometimes. Walking is an adequate alternative in some cases (#ThumbsUp) but other times (or more specifically for other goals) it’s not enough (walking isn’t going to tone your arms for example).
I find the following to be a really useful psychological ploy to use on myself on days when I really don’t feel like doing a workout (yes, even trainers have days like that).
Change your clothes, put on your training gear, and just do five minutes. With intent. Like, actually try (this is important, if you do it INTENDING to stop then it probably isn’t going to work! #SurprisedFace). In most cases, if you actually give it a fair try for those five minutes, you’ll stay going.
This can work for creating other habits too. Changing behaviours is hard at the best of times. And this is not the best of times. Make your initial goal for those changes so small that there’s nothing daunting about it. Reading more? Just do five minutes. Learning to dance? Just do five minutes. Daily walk? Just do five minutes. Got to write an article for the paper you really don’t feel like doing right now? Just do five minutes… Oh! Look at that! It’s done! (I’m joking #LaughyFace)
It’s a simple but effective strategy.
If you’ve got questions or comments you can reach me @AdamWrightPT on Instagram or Facebook. Fingers crossed you’ll be able to find me teaching group fitness classes at the Kingfisher Club again at some point in the near future (watch Kingfisher Club Waterford’s social media for more information on that as it becomes available). I hope you and yours are all safe and healthy. Have a great week!