Simple Exercise For A Bad Day

April 20, 2007 by  
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By Brett Riesenhuber

Some mornings I wake up, or just get up out of bed because I never slept that night. What I did was spend the whole night tossing, just trying to sleep. Motivation leaves a bit to be desired due to the fact that my eyes are half closed and drooping towards the floor.

So the question of a workout comes to bear. Do I even want to exercise? I tell you, I don’t want to get out of bed. Sleep is desired, but it isn’t happening anyway. Well since I still have an extra 15 pounds of ‘winter fat’ that I want removed from my abdominal area…guess I should do something. What does one do in this kind of situation? Keep it simple and move your body.

Get out of bed, kill a couple double espressos, and go do something. Obviously I probably am not going to hit it like I would with the elusive full nights’ rest, but something here is better than nothing…calorie intake will probably be the same for the day, if not more. So burning extra calories is the way to go. Being one of the top Fitness Professionals in the South Bay Area, I know that I need to burn an extra 3500 calories per week just to drop ONE pound of body fat. Based on that information, I should do something, anything!

Here is some good news in this case: an easy cardiovascular workout will burn a greater percentage of fat calories than a hard cardio session will. Wait, did I say that? Oh yes, that is right…and that is why we use target heart rate during aerobic exercise!

Notice on the charts that your target is not 80-100% of your max, but 60-80%? That is because it has been shown that a higher percentage of the calories burned from fat during exercise can be obtained at the lower heart rate levels, and more carbohydrates (and even muscle) can be burned at higher heart rate levels!

Now about the length time to exercise…yea, you got it, have to go longer. We need to go a bit longer time length because we will be burning fewer calories at the lower level heart rate, but higher percentage of fat. BUT on this day the goal is just to do it! Just getting the lower intensity level session will burn a higher percentage of fat versus carbohydrates, as well as just burning something! Remember that burning something on a bad day is better than burning nothing due to the bad start. PLUS you will feel better from the endorphins released during exercise!

So what to do? How about a walk? Take the dog out for a walk, or hit the park, par course, track, or neighborhood streets. Raining? Get an umbrella. Bored? Get an iPod. Cold? Wear a jacket or sweatshirt. Don’t make the excuse, after all, you already are getting past the ‘I’m tired’ excuse!

The bottom line is that just getting out an doing some form of exercise on a bad day is better than doing nothing when it comes to health, fitness, and sustained weight loss.

Good luck in your program and go exercise!

By Brett A. Riesenhuber

©2007 PrimePhysique, LLC

Brett A. Riesenhuber is the owner of Prime Physique Fitness Specialists and San Jose Adventure Boot Camp and is a certified personal trainer of more than 16 years. holding a Bachelor’s Degree in Fitness and Business from San Jose State University. He is referred to as San Jose’s Top Fitness Professional. His credentials also include Core Conditioning Specialist, Biomechanics Specialist, Functional Training Specialist, and Golf Fitness Pro.

Brett has authored numerous fitness articles including “The Wakeboard Workout” which has been published online through and, “Brett’s Fitness Recipe Report,” and “Golf Secrets Revealed.” He also co-authors the popular bi-monthly e-publication “Prime Physique Online Magazine” which is packed with great information and recipes.

An avid home chef (and wine connoisseur), Brett has helped numerous clients design and implement not only a solid diet and nutrition plan, but a flavorful one!

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