Want to Exercise Less?

As you know, I keep a record of my weekly workout schedule on my blog. It keeps me on track and motivates me to exercise at least 4 times a week. Looking at my recorded workouts, you might notice that I often write “45 min. elliptical” or something similar. But, a 45-minute workout on the elliptical for me isn’t just peddling along at one consistent speed. Instead, I utilize lots of intervals.

Short bursts of more intense (or faster exercise), alternated with easier, slower recovery is much more effective than keeping a consistence pace. You get a big calorie burn from the high-intensity intervals, but the recovery time allows you to catch your breath so you can go all out again while keeping your heart rate up. This means that you’ll burn more calories and see faster results in a shorter amount of time. (You can check out more benefits of interval training here.) In just a few months, I’ve already noticed changes in my body by adding intervals to my workouts.

How to: My interval workouts are typically anywhere from 30-60 minutes. I change-up the timing of my intervals depending on the type of cardio that I am doing.

I typically start with a 5-minute warm-up then alternate between 30 seconds of intense exercise followed by 60 seconds of recovery time. For each interval, I try to increase the intensity a little bit more. I might keep the 30 seconds followed by 60 seconds routine for 10-15 minutes before switching to a different interval. For example, I used this interval on the elliptical this morning: 45 seconds of intense exercise followed by 1:15 of recovery. At the end of my workout, I alternated between 30 seconds of intensity followed by 30 seconds of moderate exercise.

You can play around with the specific numbers, but as long as you are working hard and allowing yourself to recover so you keep increasing your intensity, you’ll see results!

Breakfast

I didn’t have much of a snack before the gym this morning, so before I even hit the shower after my workout, I mixed up a pseudo smoothie using 1/2 packet of chocolate Vega Whole Food Health Optimizer, iced coffee, vanilla soy milk, and ice cubes.

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I chugged about half of it before jumping in the shower. It helped quiet my stomach grumbles until I had time to make breakfast.

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For breakfast, I combine Chobani pineapple yogurt with banana slices and Nature’s Path pumpkin granola.

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This was a filling breakfast!!! It’s sitting like a rock in my stomach!

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Feel Great Weight

Check out my new Feel Great Weight post on Health: 5 Ways to Keep Your Marriage From Making You Fat

You can see all of my FGW posts here.

Reminder: The Lazy Baker

The Lazy Baker received such a great response from the recent giveaway on Carrots ”˜N’ Cake, they’ve decided to offer readers a 20% discount on all orders over $20 through October 12th. Cool! Just enter the code: carrotsncake20 at check-out.

Question of the Day

Where did you grow up? What do you miss about that place?

I grew up in a small town about 40 minutes northwest of Boston. I miss being able to easily find parking!

94 Comments

  1. I grew up in Richmond, Virginia. I miss the architecture and the fact that Virginia is rich in American history. My children are being raised in Atlanta (for the first 10 years) and now La Jolla, CA.–not too shabby.

  2. Intervals are the best. Thanks for reminding us to not just pedal away aimlessly on the machines! I grew up in Sacramento and actually just moved back a month ago because I missed it and my family My entire family is here and we wanted to be closer to family. It has been great to be able to see my family on a regular basis. It was a great decision!

  3. OK…I was thinking I was the only Canadian, but then I saw Sheri’s post. I grew up in Saskatoon, SK (CANADA) and moved to Calgary just over 20 years ago. Saskatoon is very pretty in the summer and now when I get back there I love to run along the river. Winters are cold and snowy…just like here.

    Hi Shari from Calgary!

  4. I totally agree about intervals. Not only are they more effective, they’re less boring than plugging away at the same pace for 45 minutes!

    I don’t really miss anything about where I grew up (Chicago suburbs) but I do miss fall in North Carolina!

  5. I did a post this morning about fartlek training. Not only is it funny to say, but it is fun to do and is another form of interval training…check it out!

    I was born in Green Bay, but I grew up in Seymour, Wisconsin, best known as being the Home of the Hamburger (although some other towns have fought us for the title). We made the biggest hamburger and biggest cheeseburger ever. Claim to fame!! HA
    Courtney, Adventures in Tri-ing

  6. I grew up in Irvine, CA. I miss the beach nearby, the people that surrounded me, and the wild life that was also at a short drive. It seems like in Irvine, we had everything!

    I love Nature’s Path granola. My current obsession is their Peanut Butter one.
    Yum 🙂

  7. I love intervals. They really amp up my workout especially when I’m pressed for time.

    I grew up in a military family so I have lots of places. I really miss Germany most of all. I loved the history there and just being able to take public transportation everywhere and enjoy the old world feel. And the food tasted great!

  8. pumpkin granola sounds great!

    I grew up in Chesapeake, VA. I miss being close to good shopping! We don’t have many choices here, but I guess that keeps me from spending more $ 🙂

  9. I grew up all over! Military brat! The place I miss the most is Germany. There is so much culture and everyone is so friendly and you are so close to history and a million other countries!

  10. I grew up in Albuquerque, NM. I miss knowing where everything is! My husband and I move about every 3 years, so once I finally get the hang of a place, we have to move! If anything, I think that I am more in shape since I got married, but I think that it has a lot to do with your partner too!

  11. I grew up in Washington, DC, and loved it then and now. There’s so much to do, whether you want to go hiking, rafting, museums, all sorts of cultural events… just an endless number of fun things for kids and adults.

  12. Although I was born in Washington DC, I grew up in Seattle. I absolutely love it there and miss it so much now that I’m back in Maryland! The people are so laidback and generally nice. It’s a city, but not such a fast-paced and competitive city. I love fish, and Seattle is well known for their salmon. It really does live up to the hype! Overall, I miss seeing the beautiful trees and mountains everyday. Oh, and of course my family 🙂

  13. I was born in Aurora, Colorado and spent most of my childhood there…..however my Step-Dad was in the military so we lived all over the states & Europe during my younger years! At the time I did not appreciate it but I do now as I got to see, visit and experience so many wonderful things and I MISS IT SO MUCH TODAY! =(

    In fact, I attribute my “love for food” from our short stay in Belgium where I discovered amazing bread, pasteries & of course CHOCOLATE!!! =) I was around 8 or 9! I do not remember actually caring about food until that year.

    =) Laura @ Finding A Healthy Balance (after a “100 Pound” weight loss)

  14. I grew up outside of NYC and now I don’t have to miss ANYTHING since moving to the city from Boston in April. Just a 30 minute train ride home!! When I lived in Boston, I missed delis with egg sandwiches, real bagels, and Yankee fans! And my fam of course!

  15. I grew up in Dorchester, MA and moved to Braintree, MA in high school. I don’t really miss Dot too much…I’ve become a total suburbanite 🙂

  16. I grew up about an hour south of Boston, really close to the RI border. I miss living with my parents and grandparents…and 5 minutes down the street from my other set of grandparents and my cousins. Love my family!

    I’m also with you on the parking thing. I miss parking lots! I have to rent a space in Boston’s South End so that I have somewhere to safely leave my car on nights and weekends.

  17. Love doing intervals as part of my speed work for running…. amazing how fast you can feel during those shorter bursts!

    I actually moved back to where I grew up, so nothing for me to miss! I lived down south for awhile and realized how much I love being close to the ocean & moutains, as well as the change of seasons……although winters aren’t my favorite anymore, I’m definitely a summer girl!

  18. I grew up in Bergen County, NJ and I miss good bagels, the individual food stores (the cheese store, the butcher etc.) and the smell of spring and fall up there. It just smells different here in the Washington DC metro area. Maybe it’s just me…

  19. Great tip on the intervals! I love the elliptical but I have a tendency to kind of zone out and keep a steady pace. Your post will motivate me to switch it up a bit!

    I was born in South Korea and now I live in Georgia so I’m definitely a far way from home!

  20. I’m from a major farming community in southeastern PA. I didn’t realize how much the quality of produce differs in the northeast (no offense!), so I definitely miss that. But I love the hustle and bustle of a city. Yay Boston!

  21. I grew up a couple of towns South of Boston, moved to CA after college, then to NYC then back to the next city over from Boston. Love the area and so happy to be back. Love the energy Boston has. If we could just do something about the weather…

  22. @Maggi: I grew up in Bergen County also! And I just moved back here after four years of college in RI. I never want to leave again! Our bagels are delicious 🙂 And there is just something about our fall its so beautiful.

  23. Hi Tina, just started reading your blog and I love it! I grew up about 40 minutes outside of Philadelphia and have been living in NYC now for 5+ years. I miss grocery shopping the most! Huge aisles with few people, not to mention the cheaper prices!

    In regards to the interval training, I am also a huge fan. I usually listen to top 40 music while I’m working out because the chorus sections are great for sprints 🙂

  24. I grew up in a small town (<2000 people) in MO, about an hour outside St. Louis. I don't miss anything, really, because after being away for college, work, etc., for about 8 years, I moved BACK! I love my small town. 🙂

    I am also a fan of interval training when the weather is not outdoor-run permitting. It makes the time go by much faster!

  25. I grew up in Woodbury, Minnesota (suburb of the Twin Cities). I miss my family, CHEAP and daily happy hour specials (we are talking $4 bucks for three mixed drinks…I’m not kidding), and how nice and friendly everyone is!

  26. I grew up in Newport RI. I really miss it. I live in Florida and I am really missing the change of seasons.

  27. I grew up in Marlborough, MA. now I live in LA, and right now I am SO missing this time of year in New England! the smells, the sounds, the way the air feels, the colors, …sigh!

  28. I grew up in Burlington, Vermont. I miss the beautiful mountains and the clean, crisp fall air. I’m only three hours away, and visit often, but I still miss it! 🙂

  29. I grew up in Fayetteville, NY, a suburb of Syracuse. It’s a very lovely town bordering a beautiful state park–amazing for running, cycling, hiking, golf, and swimming. Now that I live in Manhattan, I sometimes miss the quietude of Fayetteville–these two places are so incredibly different. I’m actually going home to visit my parents, sister, and baby niece this weekend; can’t wait! Autumn is absolutely gorgeous in Upstate NY.

  30. thanks for the great tips on intervals!! i normally do 7mins intervals though..
    well i grew up in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia..quite a city.. i’ve been a city girl all my life!

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