Do not buy the nonsense that shows up on television about getting washboard abdominals in 10 minutes a day. That is a absurd. If you want to lose weight – aside from reducing your calories, which, is a great place to start – if you want to lose weight, you need to spend a lot of time exercising.
In my case, I noticed that my weight started falling only after I started exercising for periods of 45 minutes, or longer. Exercising for shorter periods of time did not seem to have much of an effect on my bathroom scale. One of the great side effects of ‘Sprinting versus Jogging’ is that I can easily workout for 45 minutes a day.
Before I started sprinting, my exercise times were mired at around 35 minutes. I was running at best three miles, and I was tired when I was done. Not only was I physically tired, but I was mentally tired, as well. My son, David, explained it to me that distance running is a long mental battle, where you must convince your body to keep working, even though it wants to quit. This mental battle is draining. It makes it hard to work out for long periods of time.
Sprinting is different. I run until I am tired, and then walk until I feel like running again. Now, I typically work out for an hour, or longer, 4-5 days a week. When I am finished I am still physically tired, but, now I am mentally pumped up. It is so easy to run anywhere from 30 seconds to 2 minutes, knowing I am going to rest soon. There is almost no mental battle going on. For me, sprinting is mentally relaxing, even rejuvenating. This makes working out for long periods much easier.
My weight is slowly falling. Two years ago my weight fluctuated between 193 to 195 pounds. On a few occasions I breached the 200 mark. Somewhere around April 2010 I started extending my workout periods to 45 minutes and longer, while continuing to work out 4-5 days a week. I did not lengthen my workouts to lose weight. I lengthened them because I wanted a harder workout. The immediate effect of longer workouts was that my weight started falling. Suddenly I was 190 to 192 pounds. Then, I fell below 190 pounds for the first time in years. My weight is now hovering between 183 to 185 pounds. My weight loss is slowing, but it is relentlessly falling, nonetheless.
I am happy to offer this insight at the start of the holiday season. I have no illusion that I will lose any weight over the next 6 weeks. We will have Thanksgiving dinner, Christmas parties, a trip to Chicago and a long weekend skiing at Boyne Highlands, not to mention New Years celebrations. All of these events will involve dining with my friends and family. That what the holidays are all about, getting together and celebrating, (which, usually means food). My goal is to keep my weight stable over the next 6 weeks (no small feat). Then, I hope start losing weight again in January 2012. I am counting on my sprint workouts to get me there.
Editors Note: The sharp-eyed reader might have noticed that the picture of a person on a scale notes a weight of 179.9#. While that is me on my bathroom scale, that is not my true weight. Notice that the scale is on a carpet. This always throws off the true reading. 179 pounds! That would be sweet.
To read part 12 of “An Old Guy Working Out: Sprinting vs. Jogging,” go here.