How Long Should Your Daily Workout Last?

For awhile now, the Surgeon General’s recommendation and the general consensus has said 30 minutes a day. That, in turn, sparked the question among researchers and those in the health/fitness profession: can this be broken down into two 15 minute sessions or three 10 minute sessions? And what are the subsequent health and performance ramifications of 1 vs. 2 vs. 3 sessions per day? Well, it seems we are still trying to answer that question.

A recent column in the Well section of the NYT, citing several different studies, basically said the benefits of shorter bouts that add up to 30 minutes are either inconclusive or negligible, when compared to the “traditional” single 30 minute bout.

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/07/05/ask-well-3-short-workouts-or-1-long-one/?smid=pl-share

So for those of you out there wanting some resolution to this — wanting to know the most effective route to better health or a faster mile time or more fat loss or _________ — sorry, but it sounds like there isn’t a definitive answer yet. And there may not be for some time (or ever).

My advice: just do whatever works for you, given your daily schedule and your preference. If you like to break it up into smaller chunks or use those federally mandated 15 minute work breaks to exercise, go for it. If you find it easier to just knock it out in one fell swoop before or after work, go for it. Whatever brings you peace of mind or whatever your schedule dictates — do that.

Whatever you do, give it your all. Be well out there…

Pizza On the Grill

It’s the middle of summer, you love to use that grill of yours, but you’re getting a little burnt out on the usual grill fare. Check out the tips and recipes from the NYT Health columnist on how to make your own mini-pizzas on the grill.

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/07/05/a-new-way-to-make-pizza/?smid=pl-share

Making your own pizza is fun, easy, often cheaper than ordering out, and you are in control of the ingredients, which is a huge plus for health-conscious and picky eaters alike. Knowing the quality of the ingredients and being forced to make the pizzas smaller in order to fit on the grill (i.e. portion control) are two great ways to eat healthier while still getting the chance to fire up that grill.

Try it out and then come back and leave a comment on how it went, and any pizza grilling tips for other WP’ers out there.

Workout Without Borders

I promise to move past the literal “playground” meme that I’ve been on lately, but I first had to pass on this video. This is some really cool, yet really advanced stuff.

The first time through, I was too in awe of the difficulty and beauty of what they were doing. The second time I watched, the “big picture” came into focus. What I hope you take away from the video is the power that fitness possesses to transform lives — giving people passion and a purpose.

Some really great messages that apply to all aspects and levels of exercise and fitness are spread throughout the video…

Be your own inspiration

Compete against yourself…be stronger than the person you were yesterday

Let the creativity flow

Failing is part of the process…don’t give up

Axioms like this seem pretty lame when they’re on a poster in your school counselor’s office or in your work’s break room. When you see them in action — spoken by people like us, that have struggled and fought and found success — there’s nothing lame about them.

Share, comment, pass it on. Live without borders. Be well.

Just Hit Play

A weekly series where you’ll find a handful of songs to add to your workout playlist. 

It’s another Monday, which means another installment of JHP. I try to bring a variety of music to this segment, so what you end up getting is one or two “normal” songs, when you think about typical workout music, AND a couple others that either are probably new to you or songs that you might not consider something you can workout to.

Also, if anyone has a better suggestion on how I can embed or link music, please please let me know, cause right now I’m just pasting in pics and Youtube videos. Alright, let’s get to it.

The Black Keys — Gold On the Ceiling

If I’m doing a longer distance, lower intensity cardio like a run or bike ride, these guys can really help pass the time. I love their sound, and while 94% of their songs don’t have the intensity for, say, a P90X workout, they’re great for when I can just go on auto-pilot on a run, tune out the World, and listen to some good bluesy rock.

The-Black-Keys-El-Camino

Ahhh…the ’87 Dodge Caravan with the wood paneling…was a finer automobile ever created?

Oh yeah, back to the music…Gold On the Ceiling just so happens to be the current Black Keys song on my running playlist, but you can pretty much pencil in any of their work. GOtC has a nice shuffle to it. Check it out:

Konshens — Jamaican Dance

One of those borderline workout songs I alluded to, this one works for me when I use the power of imagination. This song comes on my shuffle when I’m out for a run and I teleport myself to a sandy beach in the Caribbean with a cool breeze blowing, kids playing soccer with a ratty old ball, palm trees for their goals, and wild roosters running around. It’s that care-free island living, where people dance even when music isn’t playing.

Jamaica-Caribbean-Paradise-Island-4

Variety is good, especially on an hour long run, and this song definitely provides that. The only reggae-ish song I own (admittedly, it’s way more pop than reggae), it’s very catchy and wakes me up when my mind is going numb from staring straight ahead and putting one foot in front of the other over and over and over and over and over and over and over….yeah I don’t like running…

The White Stripes — I’m Slowly Turning Into You (Live)

On my P90X playlist, this is one of those angry songs that can really motivate. It’s got that live energy of the crowd, Meg pounding on the drums, and Jack shredding on the guitar and yelling at me. It takes awhile to build, but by the end I just want to punch something or run through a wall.

Here’s the clip from the documentary, Under Great White Northern Lights (a good doc, btw, if you’re a White Stripes fan)

 

We Were Promised Jetpacks — Quiet Little Voices

OK, first off…best band name ever. Mookie Blaylock is a close second.

So these guys are an indie punk band out of Scotland, put out their first album in ’09, but I only learned of them recently when they came up on a pandora station of mine.

And their song Quiet Little Voices is a two-wayer for me. I could listen to this as a power song on a run or I could have it in my P90X playlist and crank out some pullups to it.

Here’s them singing the song live in London. Caution: a little bit of bad language when talking to the crowd, but the lyrics are clean

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We’ll call it good for this edition of JHP. Come back next week for some more suggestions.

Be well, y’all.