Saturday, October 17, 2009

Basics of Fat-Blasting Exercise. Intervals.

Hi there! I am really in a blogging mood today, you can tell!

What do you do to burn more calories in less time? Is it possible to burn more calories in shorter time without making a workout much harder? The answer is yes, it's quite possible if you follow the simple rule of INTERVALS. Every personal trainer knows this trick and uses it for faster results. Well, we smart women do not exercise for fast results. We exercise for long-term results and longer, healthier, happier life. However, sometimes weight reaches a plateau, despite all the regular exercise we do and even despite decrease in daily caloric intake. When this happen, first ask yourself: do I need more weight loss? How do I look? Will I become too skinny/unhealthy looking if I try to lose three more pounds? Maybe current weight is my healthy weight? Will my quality of life decrease with further "escalation" of weight loss/fintess program, will I become unhappy as the result? If the answer to one of this questions is not certain, you should not escalate exercise program, at least for a while.

If you feel that there is a lot more weight to lose, and the plateau is just a temporary stumbling block, do this: add INTERVALS to your training. What are the intervals? Intervals are short bursts of more intense exercise activity than you basic exercise (they can be either faster, more intense, or both). No matter what kind of exercise you chose as you basic exercise, whether you walk, jog, bike, or swim-- alternate short bursts of more intense activity with slower pace. Make these bursts last two-three times shorter than the slower intervals, so you body can recover in between.

This is what you do:
Let's say your regular basic exercise is 30 minutes of walking. Start with 5-10  minutes of usual pace, warming up. After that alternate one minute of much faster walking (as fast as you can) with 2-3 minutes of usual pacefor the next 15-20 minutes. Finish with 5 minutes of cool-down at a regular pace.

Scientists who study the physiology of exercise estimated that including intervals in your exercise routine can burn about 20-25% more calories. This technique does not make exercise feel too intense or overwhelming: the episodes of slower pace let you to catch your breath and recover so can "rev up" your heart rate again during more intense bursts of activity.

In the blog post dedicated to Fitness I describe more easy interval workouts, including my own interval workout  interspesing bursts of strength training with basic aerobic exercise of walking or joging, or bursts or fast sprint with slow jogging or walking. Go to the post "Fitness for lazy and frugal. Part 3. General rules" to learn more about it.

Good luck!

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