HOUSTON, Texas - What's on a lot of people's minds after all of the holiday sweets? Exercise.
Getting in shape doesn't mean we have to do cardio seven days a week and spend hours in the gym lifting weights, though. In fact, that might be the worst fitness decision we could make.
Five years ago, Valerie Volpi had 20 pounds to lose after giving birth to her second baby.
"It was hard for me to justify coming to a trainer at the time. It felt like an indulgence. I had this baby. I had obligations," Volpi recalls.
But then she heard about the fitness philosophy of Avenu Fitness co-owner Brent Gallagher in West University.
"I think less is best," Gallagher says.
Gallagher says stop thinking seven days of intense exercise a week will get results.
"If you look at it and say, 'I kill myself today, kill myself tomorrow, next day, the next day.' Then you get an injury. Then you get burnt out, and then you say, 'I'll wait until next year,'" he said.
Instead, think about five days a week and 30 minutes of activity a day.
"If you can be consistent for 30 minutes a day and get that in for months and years here on out, versus being all in for two months for 60 minutes, it's a no-brainer. Consistency is going to win every time," explains Gallagher.
Make about three of those days resistance training.
"When you add muscle to your body, it helps fuel you during the day. It keeps up the metabolism during the day because that muscle mass does decrease as we get older," Gallagher adds.
Instead of cardio, Gallagher has another option.
"When you say cardio, you think mindless 45 minutes on the treadmill or spin class," says Gallagher.
Opt for two days a week of 20-minute conditioning sessions.
"When you do conditioning, when you do start, stop, change directions, what ends up happening is you send your body in these spikes of heart rates and recoveries," he adds.
For five years, Volpi has followed this philosophy, coming to Avenu Fitness for two 30-minute training sessions a week.
"The evolution of my thinking has been this isn't an indulgence. This is investment for my kids," says Volpi.
And her results? "I've lost the 20 pounds and at 41, I'm in the best shape of my life," Volpi adds.
The most important thing we can do for our bodies if we want to get in shape is sleep. We need to get our sleep to see results, so make sure you're getting your eight hours.
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