…by Mary Pearsall

Are you exercising, but just not getting the results you think you should? Busy boomer women have limited time to fit in exercise. So, if you\’re going to spend the time, make it worth your while. Follow these tips to make your exercise count:

Do Something Different

Doing the same exercise over and over, day-in and day-out, is a sure way to reach a plateau. It is time to think about adding variety to your workouts, otherwise known as cross training.

Cross training will:

  • Guard against exercise boredom
  • Help avoid over-use injuries
  • Challenge your body to get better results
  • Provide a more balanced exercise program

How can you cross train?

  • If you walk mostly on a flat surface, seek out hilly places in your neighborhood or use the incline on a treadmill.
  • Are you in a walking rut? Add some jogging or hop on a bike.
  • Belong to a gym? Experiment with the cardio machines you have not tried. From elliptical trainers and stair steppers to rowing machines and strength training equipment, the options are many. And, larger gums usually offer day care for children.
  • Take an aerobics class or jump in the pool and swim a few laps.
  • Use an exercise video – there are hundreds to choose from. (An easy option for when children are napping.)
  • Check out Mommy & Me classes.
  • Take a dance, martial arts, or volleyball class at a local community college. The prices for these classes are usually quite inexpensive.

And this is only a partial list. Do something, anything, as long as it\’s different – you\’ll love your body\’s response!

Challenge Yourself

Exercise needs to challenge your body to get you results. Take an honest look at your exercise:

  • Are you going through the motions?
  • Do you avoid exercise that causes you to breathe heavy during your workouts?
  • At the end of your exercise sessions do you feel that you could easily continue on with out much effort?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you probably need to increase your level of exercise. Here are a few ways to do just that:

  • Increase your workout time. If most of your workouts are 25-30 minutes, consider increasing one or two sessions to 45-60 minutes.
  • Increase the intensity (the “hard factor”) of one or two workouts. You can do this by adding intervals: alternate a minute of “push” (hard exercise) with three minutes of moderate exercise.
  • Increase your number of exercise sessions each week. Only exercising two or three days? Add in an extra day.
  • Could you exercise longer than an hour at your current intensity? You\’re probably exercising too easy.
  • If you\’re walking, biking, jogging, or swimming, pick up the pace.
  • If you\’re using a piece of cardio equipment, increase the intensity level on the machine.

Use any number of these suggestions to coax your body into responding better to your exercise. You will see that you do not have to spend a lot more time exercising to get better results – you just need to spend the time wisely.