If you are like most, you will find that you might get a little ‘stuck’ in your regime of exercise. It’s interesting watching people in a gym environment doing what I call ‘going through the motions’ or just doing his/her thing repetitively. Now don’t get me wrong, all movement is cumulative at the end of the day and the general idea of exercise is to move so our bodies being the machines that they are get a bit of healthy stimulation to keep functioning on all cylinders.
I love when someone is relatively new to exercise and they discover that there is so much more to their new found workout regime and healthy lifestyle. It’s like this kind of awakening when you discover anything new or different; particularly with food and exercise. I am constantly asked questions such as how much, how long, when, why, how etc when it comes to working out. Realistically, there is no hard and fast rule. As I mentioned above, all movement is cumulative and it depends what you want to get out of your training which will determine this. Something we must remember however is there are 24 hours in a day and 168 hours in a week. Thirty minutes to one hour of exercise daily or 7 hours of movement per week is not much in the scheme of things; rather a necessity if we want our bodies to feel, function and look great.
Most people will quickly mention that they are time poor when it comes to exercise or to get the results they want. The simple solution to this would be to consider interval training. This is perfect for those of us (vast majority) who have little time to get our workouts in and see results. Interval training is a great approach to exercise to get great results because it is a simplistic way to up the ante with any regular routine such as running, walking, cycling, rowing, swimming, weight training etc. Simply use a scale of easy – moderate – hard and use intervals of each for selected measures of time from 30 seconds to 5 minute increments. This can be done in a 20 minute treadmill run where you start out at a brisk walk for two minutes (easy), then jog for two (moderate) then run for one minute (hard) and keep moving your intensity between the easy – moderate and hard rates for the entire 20 minutes. This way you will change up your intensity hence your heart rate and METS change, working and recovering for the duration of the run.
Your body is a great machine of adaptation and interval training across the board will challenge your body and shock it which in turn gives you greater benefits and results from training. It will force your body to move to a harder level and then allow it to recover before going harder once again. There are many benefits of interval training such as accelerated fat loss, increased lean muscle mass, increased lactate threshold, increased production of natural human growth hormone, increased aerobic fitness or VO2m Max, greater strength and mental stimulation and all in less time than a longer mundane workout. Got 20 minutes up your sleeve? Jump to it then!