20 minutes of cardio: training features, myths and misconceptions, advice from trainers

How not to gnaw at yourself for not having time, not moving forward, not starting a new business, not learning a new language, not going to courses, not reading books?

We all know what kind of stress and tension this soul-searching brings: why don’t I start, “slow down”, put off, promise to do it “someday”...

There are different reasons: perfectionism, lack of time, lack of understanding where to start, lack of self-confidence.

One of the main reasons, it seems to me, is our opinion that we need to devote a LOT of time to our plans.

And often this thought is very harmful.

What is the 20 minute rule?

The 20-minute rule is a technique that will help you achieve your goals, pump up your willpower, instill good habits, and become more disciplined and organized.

Do it yourself using the rule of small steps.

The essence of the 20-minute rule is that it is enough to start devoting 20 minutes a day to moving in the right direction in order to see serious results over time. On the one hand, this will help develop the desired habit. On the other hand, devoting 20 minutes a day to any task is not so difficult and anyone can do it.

Since 20 minutes a day is not so much, it makes it easier to start doing something and helps you not to be distracted by other things during those 20 minutes. The Pomodoro method of time management also works on a similar principle. It assumes that a person first works on a task for a period of time (say, 20-30 minutes), then allows himself a break for 10 minutes, and then everything starts again.

What are the options?

Today, a huge number of programs are offered, and everyone can choose a load to their liking. You can often hear the question: is running cardio or not? Yes, this is a traditional cardio workout. If you are not at all interested in jogging, you can do regular walking, plyometrics, CrossFit, step aerobics, tai-bo, dancing, skiing, swimming, and so on.

Solving Big Problems with the 20 Minute Method

Any large-scale project is physically impossible to implement in one push. Solving such large-scale tasks as writing a thesis, launching a new business, or losing an extra 20 kilograms of body weight requires a large number of small steps. But they should be done every day. So that it becomes a habit.

Of course, devoting 20 minutes a day to something is not that much. And it’s not a fact that this will be enough to solve your problems. But this is a good start, because a journey of 1000 miles begins with one step. It often happens that it is difficult to start a business, but then you get involved in the process of work and then it will be difficult for you to stop. In addition, 20 minutes a day is 2.5 hours a week or 10 hours a month. This is already 120 hours in a year. And in 120 hours you can already achieve significant results. For example, learn a new activity or read an impressive stack of books.

As you can see, in the long term, the habit of taking small but concrete steps every day gives real returns. Now imagine that you will work on your goal not for 20 minutes a day, but for 2 hours. Of course, this can radically change your life. But you can start with 20 minutes and gradually push your usual boundaries.

20 minutes a day is much better than nothing. That is, it is better to overpower yourself and do the right thing for just 20 minutes here and now, than to endlessly put off all things until tomorrow. This is a good way to start treating procrastination (putting things off until later).

The principle of "Enough"

Have you heard of the principle of “enough”?

This is the result that you outline for yourself as satisfying and good enough: after all, you cannot correct, improve, refine something forever!

The 20-minute rule that I want to talk about today is akin to the “enough” principle. It says that you shouldn’t wait for the right moment when you can devote a colossal amount of time to something. Get started now.

Let it be only 20 minutes – but that’s enough! Better little than nothing.

If you wait for a free, better, ideal time to do something, you can wait for years.

How to use the 20 minute rule to your advantage?

20 minutes is not so little. But provided that for all 20 minutes you will be 100% involved in the work process or reading a book. Here we need to advise you to develop your attention.

In general, when you learn a new habit, it would be rational to increase 20 minutes to 30-40 minutes a day. And it may be useful to return to a large-scale task several times a day. For example, if you started blogging, you can do this in several sessions.

“Someday I will definitely do this”

In the past, I was an avid procrastinator—a person who puts things off.

Having figured out the reasons, I realized: I’m putting it off because I understand that I have a gigantic task ahead of me that needs to really spend a lot of time on.

For example, I had a desire to take up English. I used to think like this: someday I will definitely sit down, put off all other things for half a day or a whole day, get a nice thick notebook, get cool textbooks, repeat all tenses and irregular verbs, plan a program for myself for six months in advance, watch a movie in English , to delve into the language, and at the same time I’ll sign up for cool courses...

And then (I know for sure!) - things will move forward, things will go well, I’ll start talking very soon! The main thing is to set aside this day sometime (okay, at least half a day) to sit down to work.

And what would you think?.. I never found free time.

That is, of course, there was free time, and more than once. But it was an Imperfect Time for English.

There was always something more important at this moment. For some reason, spending less time than the magical “half a day on English” - no, that never occurred to me.

If you start, then seriously. So that everything is as it should be. I am a serious and responsible person.

When I read about practitioners who advised learning 5 new words a day or watching 10 minutes of your favorite TV series in English, my opinion was something like this:

“Fi! Why do I need such little things, someday I will sit down (here is a hand gesture expressing the enormity of the task and my intentions) and devote half a day to planning my learning, remember all the rules and then I will definitely start learning the language! And I won’t learn just some dead 5 words a day, but I’ll study for an hour... no! an hour and a half a day! And no days off!”

And... my progress did not advance even an inch.:) I was still waiting for my cherished “half-day in English” to start a grandiose task.

What do we end up with?

As a result, the 20-minute rule will help get things moving:

  • Anyone can devote 20 minutes to an important task. And this doesn't require much willpower;
  • Once you start acting within the first 20 minutes, you may become motivated to continue;
  • In 20 minutes you can really take some concrete steps towards your big goals;
  • It’s impossible to get overtired in 20 minutes, even if you had a difficult day before.

As you can see, the most important advantage of this method is its accessibility. Anyone can start small and the further they go, the easier it will be to move in the right direction.

What rules should you follow to effectively burn fat?

In order for training to take place with maximum effectiveness, experts recommend learning a number of rules, without which high-quality exercise performance is not possible.

Don't forget to monitor your pulse. It is impossible to achieve the maximum effect with too low values, and with too high values ​​there is only a risk of harming your health. An ideal option would be a special sports heart rate monitor or fitness bracelet. If you do not have such devices, then you will have to measure the indicators yourself several times throughout the lesson.

The best option is interval loads. As practice shows, they are several times more effective and more enjoyable than monotonous aerobics. Tabata is considered the best option. Its essence is simple: 20 seconds of training at the limit of capabilities, 10 seconds of rest, such 4-8 approaches, between them you can take a short break, but no more than one minute. Such loads are necessary for people with large weights, but you should not load yourself with intense exercises, as this can harm your health. The choice should be made in favor of walking. It’s not at all necessary to jump, run and exhaust yourself; you can just go for an hour’s walk.

Why do you need to do cardio?

If you still have doubts, then take note of a few facts that confirm the need to include cardio training in your life:

  • Cardio is an excellent opportunity to keep your muscles toned; of course, you won’t be able to build up muscle mass, but if you do the workouts regularly and at full capacity, you can definitely keep your muscles toned and even increase their volume.
  • Cardio is about heart and lung health. Aerobic exercise helps our body use the oxygen it receives much more efficiently. Thanks to cardio training, your heart rate and breathing rate at rest decreases, which indicates a healthy cardiovascular system.
  • Cardio has a positive effect on bowel function. As strange as it may sound, some studies have shown that cardiovascular exercise affects the intestinal microflora, despite diet or any other factors.
  • Cardio will help fight bad cholesterol and increase the level of high-density lipoproteins, whose task is to process and burn fat, which reduces the risk of developing atherosclerosis.
  • Aerobic exercise – prevention of diabetes.

And this is not a complete list of health benefits!

First round of exercises

So, let's get started:

  • We start cardio by jogging with shin curls. Your task is to try to run so that your heels reach your buttocks.
  • The next exercise is squat jumps. They are performed as follows: we jump into a wide squat, touching the floor with our hands. Make sure that your knees do not go beyond your toes and keep your back straight.
  • Running in a horizontal position is performed from a plank position, arms shoulder-width apart, extended straight. We took the starting position and begin to pull our knees to our chest, changing one leg to the other as quickly as possible. The body should be a straight line.
  • Next, we move on to jumping in a half-squat, trying to synchronously spread our arms and legs. Here it is important to remain in a half-squat position throughout the entire exercise and not unbend.
  • And the last exercise of the circle: we spread our arms and legs, as if we were moving on skis. The arms should move simultaneously with the legs.

This completes the first round of exercises; you can move on to the second, after a minute’s rest.

Myths about cardio exercise

The popularity of cardiovascular training is growing and is surrounded by speculation, riddles and myths, many of which are completely false. Let's look at the most important of them. The opinion that cardio exercise is essential for weight loss is incorrect. You don't have to do this kind of workout to burn fat. The process of losing weight is 70% dependent on a calorie deficit and only 30% on physical activity. Cardio training is not a panacea for excess weight, but an additional calorie expenditure, thanks to which you can create that same calorie deficit. For some reason, many are sure that if you do strength training, then cardio can be removed from your sports “diet”. Such a position has no right to exist. And this can be explained quite simply: the heart muscle trains much longer than the muscles of the body, so when we increase the strength load, it turns out that the heart is simply not ready to take on such responsibility. This is where health problems may begin.

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