Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Workout Wednesday: Interval Training

Several months ago, I was exposed to a type of interval training in an article from Dr. Mercola.  In it, he explained a method to increase metabolism, burn fat and maximize your workout.  I began to incorporate this into my workouts over the last few months and have had great success with it.  As with any new exercise program, check with your health care provider if you have any serious health challenges.  And, as always, be wise about your decisions.

Basically, interval training is about adding bursts or high intensity periods to your workout.  For most trainers, this mimics sports, which are never one steady, continuous movement.  From a natural view, this also mirrors what animals in the wild do.  Although many species of animals walk, crawl or fly for long distances when they need to migrate, their normal daily life consists of slow, then fast movements.  This variety creates powerful muscles and strong cardiovascular systems.  Wild animals don't get beer bellies.

With this type of training, you can also cut your workout time down, so there's less excuses.  Twenty minutes of cardiovascular with five thirty second bursts at maximum intensity burns more calories than 40 minutes of low intensity exercise.  Also, by engaging your muscles during the high intensity periods, more energy is required for repair after your workout, which means you will continue to burn fat hours after exercising.

When choosing to incorporate this type of exercise in your regimen, start off slowly.  For example, if you use a treadmill, walk or jog at your normal speed for three minutes to warm up.  Then, at three minute intervals, increase your speed for thirty seconds to about 80%.  If you feel exhausted or lightheaded, slow down.  Do not overdo it.  Once you build up strength and stamina, you can increase the intensity to 90 or 100%.  Give yourself time to move in that direction.

If you want to lose weight or increase the results your getting from your workout, it may be worth it to give interval training a try.  There are several methods available online, so look into them and try different ways.  Once you find one you like, do it for a few weeks then try another one.  Don't get into a pattern.  The body likes variety.  Be healthy.

Mystic Merman

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