Posted by onbalancefitness on:
After writing about food (and some wine) for the past couple of blogs, I think it's time to write about a way to burn up those calories and get in shape. My company, On Balance Fitness, focuses on finding the way to be fit and enjoy life (and good food) without "tilting the scale" too much and dumping out important pieces of your life.
The struggle to stay fit and healthy while fitting in work, family, community,... takes scheduling and attention. The good news is that you don't have to workout for hours on end to get fit and/or loss those extra pounds. One of the smartest, quickest ways to exercise is through interval training. In 40 minutes, your workout is done (minus the stretching) and you are back to the other stuff.
The Basics: Interval training is exercise consisting of activity at high intensity for a period of time (sprint intervals), followed by low intensity exercise for a period of time (rest intervals). These 'sets' are repeated to make up the total workout.
Sprint Intervals: The high intensity portion is called Sprint Intervals. The purpose is to elevate your heart rate and push your capacity. Sprint intervals are measured either by time or distance. They can be as short as 15 seconds or as long as 20 minutes for aerobic interval training.
Examples of Sprint Intervals: 1) running at full pace along a stretch of field for 30 seconds 2) indoor cycling for 15 minutes simulating a climb on the bike.
Rest Intervals: The periods of recovery, with low intensity exercise, are called Rest Intervals. Activities are often strength training oriented, done at a moderate pace, to allow the the body to recover from the sprint interval. The length of these rest intervals are determined primarily by your fitness level and the type of the sprint interval just completed.
The intervals are important: The basis of the interval training is to ensure that your sprints are done at an optimal intensity to stress your body and push the limits of your ability. Without sufficient rest, your interval training will resort back to a steady aerobic type of activity.
Intensity: The intensity of the sprint intervals is how hard you work. You have to push yourself to get the fitness and metobolic benefits of these intervals. Using a 10-point scale (1 = no effort, 10 = max effort), aim for 8-10 on the scale. Seasoned athletes training to improve speed with 15 second sprints will go all out to reach a ‘10' for such a quick set of intervals. Someone who has not exercised in a while may find that level '10' completing 1 minute fast walking intervals. A ‘10' is merely the maximum amount of effort a person can safely expend for that particular interval.
How This Works: The secret to Interval training is EPOC (Excess Post Exercise Oxygen Consumption). It's the process of your body replacing intramuscular energy that gets used up during intense exercise. The more energy needed to be replaced, the more fat required for energy (provided you eat well and don't over eat). This is an immediate benefit.
Over time your body's ability to store energy increases and its ability to build muscle improves. As your body gains muscle and works more effectively, more energy will be used up in function rather than be passed on to fat stores. The more fit you become, and the better your body functions, means energy will get burned more efficiently and in greatler quanities at all times.
** There is much more to this form of exercise. If you want to learn more, please contact me at: OnBalanceFitness.com