So, don’t get me wrong, I’m a big believer in getting your workout done in a hurry. Wham-bam-thank-you-treadmill is my MO. Thirty minutes of cardio is what you need to be healthy, and I don’t blame you for stopping there. But why not try to take it up to 60 one day a week?
It doesn’t have to be every day. You don’t have to pre-determine the day, either. You’ll just know. It’s the day when you aren’t rushed, when you’re in the zone, when you’re pissed off, when you realize, “Hey, I’m already sweaty, and I don’t actually have anywhere else to be this afternoon!” When that happens, just push it.
The thing is, having a lot of really fab 30 minute sessions is great for your heart, your health, your head…but don’t neglect your endurance! It’s nice to know that you can go a little longer (and you can scale back your intensity if you’re doing a 60 minute session).
Many people focus on total minutes of cardio per week, as opposed to days, so if you’ve got a busy schedule, you can think of it that way and knock off a session later in the week when you’re really not in the mood or truly don’t have the time. Even if that doesn’t happen, you’ll still have worked on your endurance, made your heart happy, and burned some extra cals.
You can treat it like a true power hour and do intervals. Fifteen seconds hard (that’s like when you’re shooting the beer), 45 seconds easy (that’s like when you’re trying to see straight). Just be careful — don’t make the hard intervals too hard! Otherwise it’ll be like my first power hour at MSU, during which I threw up somewhere around the 25 minute mark. (In my defense, I started drinking again around the 28 minute mark and finished strong. Not that any of this is relevant.)
The easiest, most painless way to have a cardio power hour at the gym is to use more than one machine. Thirty minutes on both the elliptical and treadmill, or 20 minutes on both, plus the bike, and you won’t even notice how fast the time is going. If you work out at home in front of the TV, or your gym has DVD player, watch three episodes of a sitcom (or one “Mad Men”) while you sweat it out. It will be done before you know it!
Because really, the worst part of working out is the sweat and the shower. If my hair could stay perfect during a workout, I’d honestly be so thin. But once I’ve already done enough time to mess up my hair, I’m just like, “Ugh, well, might as well make it worth the blowout later.” Once a week won’t kill you. (Especially when you consider weekends!)