Gearing Up For The Holidays

The holidays are fast approaching, and so are all those mouthwatering sweets, like pumpkin pie, plum pudding, turkey with stuffing, and chocolates from your friends. If you’re like me, you are already wondering how you are going to keep those pounds from accumulating! Here’s an idea for your waistline and health.











A New York Times article from July 29, 2015 changed the way I exercise. It describes a recent study in Denmark and New Zealand on the effects of high-intensity interval training on people’s motivation to exercise, as well as improved results for a variety of health indicators. Two pieces of information caught my eye: it takes no more than 15 minutes, and you should not do it more than every other day!

The technique can work with running, bicycling, rowing, or even cross-country skiing. You can mix it up, or stick to your favorite form of exercise.

Paul after his intervals

Let’s take jogging as the exercise of choice, though this technique applies to all listed above. Here’s how it works:
1) Hold your timer and press start.
2) Jog slowly for 30 seconds.
3) At 30 seconds, run at a moderate speed for 20 seconds, bringing you to 50 seconds.
4) Sprint for 10 seconds. This brings you to 1 minute.
5) Take a 2-minute break, either standing if you need to, or continue walking.
6) Begin the process over again at 3 minutes, and repeat for a total of 5 times.
7) In other words, you begin jogging at 0, 3, 6, 9, and 12 minutes for a healthy
cardiovascular workout. Who can’t endure 12 minutes of healthy exercise?

After 5 weeks I took my blood pressure and noticed it had dropped. I had lost weight, no longer panted so hard when running through airports, and most importantly, after three months, I’m still doing it and feeling great!

Here’s the article if you want to read further:

Time to go do my intervals now!

How do you stay in shape?








* Obviously this isn’t medical advice, and a thorough checkup with your doctor is a must before you begin exercising!

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10 Responses to Gearing Up For The Holidays

  1. Paul Binder says:

    Dear Eileen

    I go to the gym, tell the personal trainer to “be ruthless” and never eat more than three portions of pumpkin pie! Ah, well. Gotta keep the weight down…type 2 diabetes. Happy Thanksgiving.

  2. Richard Trenner says:

    Thanks for this post, Eileen,

    Between now and December 1, I’m going to try your recommended approach to getting fitter by jogging/running and also working out on a rowing machine. Then, I will report the results in terms of how fit I feel and how much I weigh. If the results are good, then YOU will, I hope, feel good about helping to lengthen a life!

    All good thoughts—Richard

  3. Nancy says:

    Sounds good. I usually walk, I did try running and folowed a system simular to this last spring. My allergies got in the way. Have a wonderful Fall and Happy Thanksgiving.

  4. Recently, I have overloaded my library book bag with newly published cookbooks– no kidding, I have searched the Table of Contents, Indexes and recipes with a “windless” desperation, looking for mouth watering tastes. Having been on Weight Watchers for several months and not “cheating” in any way, I am dropping weight… Exercise is a critical part of my day and has, always, part of my life. I started dancing classes at age 7, sometimes with three classes a week, ice skating at age 9, finger exercises on the piano at age 8 with weekly lessons and a walk to my lessons, regular skiing classes in grade 8 at Blue Hills and became a regular at Mt. Cranmore, every other weekend with family friends, enjoyed, never, fewer than 3, or 4 swims a day in summer in the ocean with a daily 3 mi walk on the beach, aerobics in my working years and a stretch class at several NYC studios, walking with the combined Catholic and Presbyterian Church group on the Main Line in PA, a daily stretch strengthen routine designed by my doctor and prescribed “for life” and now, walking my son’s 50 lb. young dog twice a day… I exercise, but am not a show stopper!!!! My friend Sally started tap lessons at age 61 yrs. and she is a “show stopper”. When she visits me at Cape Cod, we walk in the ocean, knee deep and
    talk and talk–exercise. I think knitting is exercising, too!!!!

    My sister said the reason I became ill during my working years at The Times Co., Inc. was because my aerobics routines were too intense. I quit my great job because I was so sick and embarrassed to admit to illness. It hurts to know that I made the wrong decision because of exercise… I wish I had another chance to combine moderate exercise with a salary.

    I believe in MODERATION. Running around with sons, assuming domestic housework in my small house, certainly, qualifies as exercise. I have moved beyond those days…

    • eileenrockefeller says:

      Any and all are good Elaine! It sounds like you have tried a lot of effective techniques. No need to try this one too. I just put it out there for those to whom it appeals. I like the idea that knitting is exercise too! Time to pick up my needles!

  5. Dear Eileen, this week’s blog came as a gift to me, as I am turning into a blob (kinda) with my shoulder in an immobilizer sling now in my 7th week…progressing greatly but I am champing at the bit to get some exercise and doing a lot of walking even with the awkward sling…but the interval training tips really interest me and I will devour the NY Times article, which I look forward to reading. With gratitude and love, Louise

  6. eileenrockefeller says:

    I hope it works for you Louise. It has been a godsend to me. I have never before looked forward to a workout, but a 15 minute workout is something to look forward to! Love, Eileen

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