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Fit Tip: Go For Quality, Not Quantity

I'm a huge fan of long workouts. An hour run, a 90-minute bike ride, or a three-hour snowshoe walk in the woods are a few of my faves. There's something about moving your body for an extended period of time that feels so gratifying. You don't want to overdo it though, and you definitely don't want to compromise your form just for the sake of saying you worked out for a certain amount of time. When it comes to exercise, think of quality — not quantity. Pushing yourself to run a 10K is commendable, but not if you end up with blisters, shin splints, and are too sore to work out for the next week.

Whatever you do, you want to be able to move with strength, energy, and control. This goes for weights in strength training as well as distances in running. Remember that a workout doesn't have to be long in order for it to be good.


Join The Conversation
mtiger mtiger 8 years
My workouts are always 30 minutes. I just make sure that I'm working really hard during those 30 minutes!
Spectra Spectra 8 years
I love long cardio workouts...It helps to destress me and it does burn quite a few calories. But I also do 3-4 "short and sweet" weight workouts per week that give me great results as well.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
lately i've been wondering if it's ok that i don't work out for over an hour anymore. with my crazy work schedule these days, i can't fit in more than 30 minutes and i've felt like i'm cheating myself but if you're telling me that it's almost ok, as long as i have good form and i working out properly that it's ok...then i'm a happy person.
hippiecowgirl hippiecowgirl 8 years
Excellent tip! I'm in the car for an hour both morning and evening so I don't have much time for workouts through the week. I average about an hour in the gym each time I go so I plan my workouts around making the short time I do have count.
millarci millarci 8 years
Good advice. I often forget that it really is quality of the workout not how long the workout is. For example, I've been using the arc trainer for my cardio for years. My sister told me that I should alternate cardio machines. Now I alternate between the arc trainer and the treadmill. However, since I haven't been on a treadmill in a very long time, I'm going a little on the slow side. I told my sister I don't feel like I'm burning anything. She reminded me that even though I can't go fast on the treadmill now, I will later. Also, by alternating my cardio machines it prevent my body from getting used to one machine and it will be better in the long run.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 8 years
I agree with this wholeheartedly. In fact, this is the driving principle of all my workouts: Quality over quantity. Most of my workouts are 30 minutes, but I have excellent form and focus. I am lean and defined. I've been asked if I was training for a fitness competition. :)
bootcampfx bootcampfx 8 years
Great advice.
catgirl1 catgirl1 8 years
I love long workouts, too! I've been wanting to run a 10k on Thanksgiving - the "Gobble Jog" :)- but I wasn't sure I could run that far. The farthest I've EVER run was 5.5 miles, and that was a few months ago. Tonight, I decided to cover up the display and just run, and I made it the 6.2 miles in 1:06! I'm going to register for the race, and I think I can make my goal of under an hour on Thanksgiving!
UrbanBohemian UrbanBohemian 8 years
Such a great, great tip. In a lot of cases it's easy to forget hoe important it is to have a healthy body to sustain so much physical movement at a time.
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