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Tuesday, May 03, 2011

The 30 Minute Rule

As a former aerobics instructor, I’ve always felt like a solid workout should last a good hour—Sometimes longer. As a busy mother of four, I’ve learned a great 30-minute workout is key. To working out day after day after day after day.

Before the cancer threatened to steal my health, I ran 5-6 miles 3-4 days a week and lifted weights for an hour 2-3 days a week. Sometimes I added a step class to the mix just for the fun of it. I lived five minutes from my local gym, had a gang of girlfriends I’d meet each day and a two-hour childcare limit. Hey, it was my girls’ night out—Only in the morning, at the gym.

I was even training for my first marathon.

Then I got cancer. I got tired. I quit running.
I moved. I now live 30-minutes plus from my local gym. With a two-hour childcare limit, it’s 3 plus hours of my day just to exercise. I don’t think so.

I started running again. Last summer I ran 4-5 miles each day. Then school started and I got up early, really early, just to have the time to run the 4-5 miles each day. I got tired. Burned out. And stopped.

I stopped running. I stopped working out altogether. My oncologist noticed. It was not my proudest moment.

At his recommendation I implemented the 30-minute rule. I run for 30 minutes. Then I stop. My daily goal is now 2.5-3 miles each day. It doesn’ t feel like much. But it does feel like enough. It is enough to keep me in shape, keep my weight in check and make me want to get up tomorrow and do it again.

My personal goal is now to do at least 30-minutes of cardio 5 days each week. This is a combination of running and weight lifting. (We will talk about weights tomorrow). 

This is where I should tell you the 5-day rule is key for me. I work out five days each week and take the weekends off. I need the time to recover, rest, relax and occasionally make up a day I missed during the week. Weekends are for soccer games, boating, hanging at the pool, folding laundry, sitting on the couch, grilling on the patio and playing board games with the kids. The 30 minute rule has brought me great success. Since February I’ve only missed this goal one or two weeks!

Try it.

Walk, run, do the elliptical, whatever you do for 30-minutes. I promise it’s not hardly long enough to get too tired to do it tomorrow. And if you do, I’ll be back tomorrow for another great tip on exercise burnout.

PS For some other great tips on running visit Melanie. She has a great runner's blog and is also participating in the "31 Days Closer to" challenge. 

Visit all the gals in the "31 Days Closer to..." series:


Shelly Final

Melanie Final


Jen Final


Melanie said...

This is such a do-able plan. I tend to set crazy goals for myself and then wonder why I'm tired and begin to lack motivation?!
Thanks for the shout-out on my running blog!

Janette@Janette's Sage said...

I have been working on that since the beginning of the year...it gives me energy and keeps my mental in check...great tip

Leah @ Point Ministries said...

Great plan. My exercise is so important to me mentally and physically. I shoot for at least 30 minutes a day 5-6 days per week.

Dwija {House Unseen} said...

I could probably find a way to do 30 minutes of *something* 5 days a week. Does drinking coffee vigorously count? If so, I'll be ready for my triathlon soon!

Mrs.Olson said...

I'm sorry I didnt stop here sooner. This is awesome. Just what I needed !

Jen said...

Love this! And, I love to mix things up, too. In the off-season from running I have picked up yoga and just love it!

Sara G said...

Even if I can't do normal running, this 30 minute rule a day sounds so wonderful and I think will help my therapy along. Thanks for the post!!

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Lisa, before cancer I ran as well. Now I can't. Really. I can't. I have such bad neuropathy in my feet because of the chemo that I can only walk, and not very fast. Still and yet, the day my chemo ended was the day I started walking. It's good therapy for me to get out of the house and take in the outdoors. I gained nearly 30 lbs with my chemo, and it's slow going getting it off.

But I'm past worrying too much about it. I just try a little each day. Thanks for the encouragement!


Shelly @ Life on the Wild Side said...

Thanks, Lisa. We really do need to remove guilt from the exercise equation, don't we? This is really helpful.

Amy Sullivan said...

I like what you are saying here. Simple and easy. No sky-high expectations. I refuse to give up the dream of a real bikini, (yet!).

Anxious to read more of your series.

lisasmith said...

@Dwija--lol about vigorous coffee drinking!!

@Sara G--I think crawling around with the kids or toe tapping (vigorously lol) to skippy music totally counts!!

@Amy--Invested in the skirted tankini a couple seasons ago and never looked back!

Sandy Cooper said...

After I finished P90X a few weeks ago, I went down to 20-30 minute workouts, five days a week. It's glorious.

And the skirted tankini!!! YES! I did the same thing this year.

Jamie @ Six Bricks High said...

Thirty minutes sounds doable. I think I can, I think I can.