I never really considered my husband a workaholic until I realized that he works about sixty hours weekly and, according to recent news, if a person works more than fifty-five hours weekly they have a much higher risk of having a stroke or heart attack. My husband does not work these hours because he enjoys his job so much. It is very important to him to be the main provider in the household and, with two kids in college and another who will be ready in a couple of years, he is driven to provide for his family. The hours he puts in at work are a badge of honor to his integrity and commitment to care for his family.

Understanding this about him only makes me love him more yet now, hearing this health news, I wonder how I can help lower his risk of heart attack and stroke if he is unable to work fewer hours in the near future. Since the cause is not specifically the number of hours worked but is usually unhealthy behaviors that develop when a person works those hours, I have high hopes that he will stay healthy.

Workaholics often use alcohol as a means to decompress from a work day’s stress. Rather than work out regularly, the fatigue from working so many hours convinces them that they would feel better if they just go home and kick back on the sofa with a good movie. Fortunately, my husband does neither. There may be hope for him yet.

His routine for getting ready for work involves a fifteen to twenty minute workout. Six days weekly he begins his day with the following exercises:

  • Three sets of ten curls with fifteen pound barbells
  • Three sets of ten squats with twenty pound barbells held at shoulder height
  • Ten minutes on our indoor exercise bike
  • Lying on the floor doing stretches for his back, hips, legs and shoulders

The old rule that a person needs to workout a half hour or an hour at a time to truly benefit from exercise is now considered a bit of a myth among fitness professionals. The European Journal of Applied Physiology released the findings of studies that reveal that resistance training for fifteen minutes is just as effective as a thirty-five minute resistance training routine. It was also discovered that those who stuck to a daily fifteen minute workout were more consistent than exercisers who performed longer programs.

Resistance training uses weights or resistance bands to build muscle which in turn burns calories. To enjoy maximum benefits, the study advises a fifteen minute workout four to six days weekly. Any beneficial workout routine can implement four simple yet effective exercises to get great results and maintain a healthy metabolism that burns fat efficiently.

Scientists published a report in the Journal of Applied Physiology that claims strength training just three days weekly for eight weeks has been shown to significantly lower blood pressure which, in turn, lowers heart and stroke risk. Two other benefits from consistent, short resistance training exercise programs are how effective it helps to prevent diabetes and cancer. It looks my husband is on the right track and I can rest a little easier.