The name of the game is “Intensity” –but don’t get intimidated by that word. Intensity can be relative to your age and the current shape you’re in, barring you’re injury free.
Whether you’re an elite athlete or someone who wants to maintain their current form or someone whose trying to make exercise a part of their lifestyle you can add intensity to any routine.
Wouldn’t you rather go hard for 30-40 minutes either doing a cardiovascular workout or a strength-training workout than busting your behind for 60-90 minutes? Yikes!
This is what I tell my clients: Do something that you can do for the rest of your life. Sure when you’re 22 you can afford to be at the gym for an hour 4-5 times a week. Lets say you’re now 40 and have a family. Are you going to have time to workout for an hour like you did in your 20’s? Change in lifestyle is the reason why the majority of us gain weight and lose the motivation to stay in shape. So, if in your 20’s, set more realistic goals (such as working out for 30-40 minutes 3 times a week) you’ll have a goal you can most likely stick to for a longer period, dare I say your lifetime! I can speak from my own example. I have worked out all of my life but once I was a freshmen in college, I decided to make fitness and a healthy living my lifestyle and decided to do a realistic routine that I could continue for a long time. My shorter yet intense workouts have helped me stay in shape to this very day.
Keep your workouts short and intense. Go by your rate of perceived exertion such as 1 being easy and 10 being very difficult and keep your workouts intense by your rate of perceived exertion. For example one may rate walking at a leisurely pace at an intensity level of 2. And some may rate sprinting 100 yards, 10 times with short rest period at an intensity level of 9. Remember: it’s the quality and not the quantity that matters. Good luck!