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The Power of Less

We were at the park with Ella the other night and were talking with another set of parents while our daughters played together.  As we continued to talk, the conversation came up of how we manage to fit in exercise with Ella…and how will we with another one on the way.

This particular couple already has 2 kids, both under 3.  And both, admittedly, have struggled to maintain their own exercise habits.

Now we’ll be the first to admit, having kids certainly throws a little wrench into the mix … it makes eating healthy and exercising regularly a bit more challenging, but certainly not impossible or out of the question when you have a strategy in place.  What used to be our normal routine is now dictated by an almost 2.5 year old.  And again this will all change in a few weeks for us personally. 

It doesn’t mean exercising is impossible until your last kid turns 18 and you’re an empty nester.  And even if you don’t have kids, similar challenges exist — you’re working longer hours, don’t want to get up an earlier to exercise before work like we do in our Louisville boot camp and simply struggle to make time.

What we shared with them at the park is exactly what you’re going to hear today …

…it’s something we’ve learned and adapted over the last few years since Ella has been around.  Our goals certainly shifted — years ago I would train twice per day — lifting once, some type of cardio or sprints later on.  Kara did the same when she ran more often; lifting in the morning and then running in the afternoon. 

But basically we now get in and out of the gym or wherever we’re working out as quickly as possible.  We call it the "Power of Less."  Interestingly, in the book the 4 Hour Body by Tim Ferriss, he coined the term "minimum effective dose" … same idea.

…how little can you do and still get the best results?  In other words, less is more (or is it less is MOHR?). 🙂

Ferriss points to the example of boiling water.  Boiling water is boiling water.  It doesn’t get "more boiled" with greater and longer heat.  

We’re not trying to get people to move less; we’re trying to be practical in our recommendations because at the end of the day, spending as much time with Ella as possible is a lot more important than spending as much time as possible working out. 

One example of getting more done in less time is changing the intensity of your workout.  We can do 10 hill sprints in 20 or 30 or so minutes…very challenging workout that puts a lot of demands on many muscles of our bodies.  Or we can go out for a walk each day, do that for about 60 minutes, barely elevate the heart rate or work muscles with any type of intensity and not get close to the same results.

Does this mean walking is bad?  Of course not…and we DO often do that stroll just to get out of the house.  We’re not necessarily even doing it for the sake of exercising, it’s just better than sitting around watching TV and it’s a great way to break up the work day and take a break from staring at a computer.

But let’s go back to that minimum effective dose … or what we say is the "Power of Less."

Maybe it means you have to bump up the intensity of your workouts to get more in less time. 

The Power of Less works for nutrition, too.  In fact we talked about it the other day when we suggested you STOP THINKING.  There’s 15 million different ideas, diets, and tips out there … focus on ONE and you’ll get results rather than flip flopping daily and believing every single thing you read. More on this to come in the future…

It’s where less is more.  And where LESS will get you BETTER results. 

The Power of Less.  Agree?

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