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Workout Tips for Busy People with Karen Jashinsky

We recently launched a live video chat series on LIVESTRONG.COM with entrepreneur and personal trainer Karen Jashinsky on the subject of fitness for busy people. If you’re someone who’s constantly on the go, it’s may be difficult to carve out time dedicated solely exercise, even if it’s just 30 minutes. In this video from her recent live chat, Jashinsky offers a lot of great advice about how often you should be working out, what types of workouts you should be doing, and why strength training is so important, especially for women.

Below are a couple tips from the interview that you might find helpful if you don’t have time to watch the whole video.

At timecode 2:32 Susy Sedano: How short or long should an effective workout be?

At timecode 2:35 Karen Jashinsky: There isn’t really a quick answer to that. The recommended amount of exercise we should do, a fair minimum, is 150 minutes per week or 75 minutes depending on the level of intensity. So you could split it up into many workouts, you could do 30 minute workouts each day, but it really depends on the intensity and what your goal is. To maintain health benefits you want to make you’re getting at least the required amounts. And if you’re really trying to lose weight, get faster, get stronger, tone up, then you’re going to want to probably increase that amount and also make sure it has a good mix of both cardio and strength and stretching first.

At timecode 3:16 Susy Sedano: There's a lot of workouts now that are short...It's all about the effort and maximizing your time to get the best results.

At timecode 3:39 Karen Jashinsky: When I was in graduate school, I was working as a personal trainer and I was going to school, and I had to get my workouts in. A lot of people when they’re stressed, whether you’re an adult working too much or you’re a student and you have finals, you tend to not workout. And that’s actually one of the most important times to workout because it really helps your stress and focus as well. But a lot of people think "I don’t have 30 minutes to get to the gym, never mind an hour." But if you can really do as many workouts – 5 minutes, 10 minutes, over the course of a day or over the course of a week it really adds up. At least you’re maintaining...

At timecode 4:31 Karen Jashinsky: A lot of women think, “I have 20 minutes, I’ll just go for a run or get on the elliptical.” You’re burning calories doing cardio but you’re not really changing your metabolism. So you want to make sure you’re integrating some strength movements as well.

At timecode 4:45 Susy Sedano: I hear a lot of talk from women that are in my circle of friends or who contact me on the site that they’re concerned if they’re doing too much weight training that they’re going to bulk up. I’d like to try and assure them that that’s not going to happen. But maybe you could speak to that a little bit.

At timecode 5:03 Karen Jashinsky: It’s definitely a myth or a rumor. First of all, it’s a lot harder for women to really bulk up. Men are more conditioned for that to happen and you really have to do heavy weights for enough time for that to happen. But if you’re doing moderate weights, high repetitions, any where from 10 to 20 reps depending on your goal, you’re not going to bulk up and you’re actually changing your body composition so you’re increasing your lean muscle mass which is going to make you burn more calories all the time. We’re burning calories just sitting here right now… I’m going to burn more calories than the person that never works out just sitting here because my body is more efficient in burning calories. And if you’re just doing cardio not strength training you’ll burn some calories when you’re sitting but not as many as the person that has more lean muscle mass.

At timecode 12:45 Susy Sedano: What is the best thing to eat before a workout?

At timecode12:48 Karen Jashinsky: That's another question that's not super easy to answer.  There is no one answer. It depends on what type of workout you're doing, the time of day you're working out, and the level of intensity that you're working and also your metabolism. A lot of it is trial and error.  Some people have a really hard time eating in the morning – if you're working out in the morning...When you're sleeping your sugar level drops and if you think of your body as an engine, you get in the car, you turn the key on and you need some fuel to kick star it. Your body needs that as well. It doesn't have to be a huge meal but something that kind of gets that going.

I thought that there were a lot of helpful tips in this chat, I hope you do too! Stay tuned for more Google+ hangouts on a variety of subjects!


Susy Sedano is one of the Content Managers at LIVESTRONG.COM, and a fitness enthusiast searching for a fun way to integrate food and exercise into a healthy living plan. She is always looking for new challenges, running a half marathon, practicing more yoga, or finding more time for rest. Despite her hectic non-stop fitness schedule, she is a "girl's girl" and a student of life!

Want more from me? Find me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Google+.

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