Did you make a New Years Resolution to be fitter in 2008? Are you currently working out 5-6 times a week? Do you want to simplify your workout and save money at the same time?
Working out will keep you healthy and being healthy will save you money in the long term. But it is a big commitment and requires a lot of time and energy. If you are currently working out 5-6 times a week, and especially if you alternate cardio and weightlifting days, I highly recommend switching to a program in which you work out every other day for a longer period of time.
How it works:
Let’s say you currently workout 6 times a week. On MWF, you do 40 minutes of cardio. On TTRS, you do 40 minutes of weightlifting. If you switch to an every other day program, you would do both cardio and weightlifting on MWF for an hour and a half (with stretching) total, and the rest of the days you have off. Do your weightlifting first, and then the cardio, as this burns more fat.
There are several advantages to working out every other day for a longer period of time:
1) It saves you lots of time. Let’s say it take you 15 minutes to get ready for the gym and 10 minutes to drive to the gym. Then it takes you 10 minutes to drive home. If you work out 6 times a week, this means you are spending 3.5 hours every week just getting to the gym! It’s madness to drive 10 minutes to a gym, work out for 30 minutes, and then drive 10 minutes back. By switching to an every other day plan, you can cut this time in half. That could mean an hour and 45 minutes more time a week, or almost 4 full days a year! What would you do with 4 extra days?
2) Save money on gas. See above.
3) Save money on laundry detergent and workout clothes. By working out every other day, you cut your dirty exercise clothes in half. Which means less loads of laundry and less detergent and water costs. Also, depending on how often you do laundry, working out every other day means you only need 1-2 workout outfits. And they’ll last longer because you are washing them fewer times.
4) It keeps you from getting burned out. I love to go to the gym, but even I sometimes get burned out. Going to the gym every other day makes it seem like less of a drag. And on the days you do workout, it motivates you to hit it hard, since you know the next day you get a break.
5) It gives your body a full day of rest. Having your muscles recover is an essential part of building them up.
The only downside of this plan is that getting motivated for your cardio after a tough session of lifting weights is sometimes difficult. But you can push through it. The benefit of extra time and money make it worth the effort.