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Exercise For Time, Not Distance

Posted Dec 17 2010 9:39pm

A common practice of people who exercise is to set a goal for themselves that consists of a certain number of laps, miles, or blocks that they would like to walk, run, bike, swim, or whatever their exercise of choice is. A better idea is to set your sights on a certain number of minutes that you would like to exercise and work toward that.

If your goal is to walk one mile and your body isn’t up to it, it’s actually going to take you longer to finish. If your pace is normally 4 miles per hour and 15 minutes is your normal time, that’s a nice pace. But if you’re having a bad day and your pace slows it may take you another 3-5 minutes to finish your course.

On the other hand, if you’re having a good day and you're moving well, you might shave off a minute or two from your time. But that means that you’ve cheated yourself out of a minute or two of exercise when your body is ready for it.

Instead, set a timer and walk. When the time is up, you’re done. On a good day you’ll find that you’ve gone farther and exercised more. On a bad day, you’ll get your exercise but won’t punish your body for those extra few minutes.

It also makes it easier to plan your exercise and stick your schedule. A few extra minutes can make you late which may give you an excuse to skip your exercise the next time that you have a busy day. End on time no matter how your workout is going by exercising for time, not distance. ____________________________________________________________________

Dr. Marc Tinsley is a health, fitness, and wellness expert who works with organizations who want to stop losing money and be more productive by taking better care of themselves and their members. He takes the fear, difficulty, mystery, and confusion out of health, wellness, and fitness with keynotes, breakouts, workshops, in-services, teleseminars, webinars, coaching, and consulting.

He is the founder of Fitness For The Rest of Us™.

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