I began a group fitness class a few years ago that is called Fit in 50 (minutes!). I believe the Third Son was three years old when we began so it’s been eleven years! Wow – that’s crazy! Anyway, I have thought for quite some time that 50 minutes is the perfect amount of time of a great workout. I’ve long considered it the perfect amount of time for a class to get in a great workout including cardio and strength work. I consider it the sweet spot of a workout. I know there are lots of people who will exercise for longer than 50 minutes and some that think you absolutely have to exercise for at least an entire hour to get a full workout and to get all its benefits.
I am of the opinion that we can get a total full body workout in a shorter amount of time – as long as we exercise smarter – not longer. I’m a big fan of movements that use multiple muscles in one exercise. Hint, this means no sitting on a bench doing bicep curls. No offense, but that’s a waste of time! Instead, we will do those bicep curls while doing squats or while standing on one leg to work on balance. During that 50 minutes we will get our heart rate up with cardio, but it will be with spurts of high energy moves that incorporate plyometrics, quick runs, high knees, burpees, and other moves like these that incorporate more muscles and more energy. We do this 50 minute workout two days a week and the third day of the schedule is a yoga fusion day to end the week with some strengthening stretching. Therefore, those other days of the week, workouts should be more moderate, focusing on moderate cardio, fitness walking or strength training.
Why in the world am I talking about my Fit in 50 (minutes!) class you may be asking? It is because this month Shape magazine has an article specifically supporting the 50 minute workout as the exercise sweet spot. I just love it when something I’ve been doing or talking about is backed by those experts who are “in the know”!
One of the main things that makes 50 minutes the sweet spot, is that it can help keep hormones estrogen and progesterone in balance. There is a lot of research lately on hormones and how exercise affects them. “Repeated sweat sessions that are too long or too intense can backfire, throwing estrogen and progesterone out of whack, studies have found. More than an hour of vigorous activity every day can have a negative impact on your reproductive system, accruing to the journal Human Reproduction.” (SHAPE, p. 179).
I have loved our 50 minute workouts for so many reasons. The time is perfect! Most of us can fit in 50 minutes at the beginning of the day. When we know we have only 50 minutes to spend on ourselves, that time is precious. That’s time to simply focus on the workout and the muscles and form. Most people can stay focused and motivated for 50 minutes! We can get in a great, total body workout, end with a nice stretch and get on with the day. The goal is for the workout to leave one feeling like they have worked, but feel energized and stronger.
I’m thrilled that what I’ve been preaching and using in our group schedule has science based research to support the 50 minute workout as a way to make gains in fitness and maximize a healthy plan. Check out the article if you don’t believe me!
Now you are free from your excuse that you do not have a whole hour to exercise. No problem – just get in your 50 minutes and you’ll still make fitness gains and reap all of the benefits of exercise.
Now, I’m moving on to a Refresh & Reboot update! I’ve been posting less the past couple of weeks because I’ve been working on new recipes, a new meal plan and daily content to share with those of you signed up for the 4 week program! I have some great new things that will be perfect for Spring! If you are looking for some healthy inspiration and encouragement, join us! Sign ups are still open and all goes LIVE on SUNDAY, May 1!!
How long do you exercise? What do you feel is your exercise sweet spot? Are you getting ready for Spring? Feeling inspired?
Enjoy Your Day!