Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Interval training...

Anyone who knows me knows I'm no stranger to physical activity. But lately, I've been a lot less motivated to spend time in the gym (is that what happens when you get married?! Am I a stereotype?! Ha!)

Fortunately, some of the latest research is showing that you can still get exceptional health benefits, spending less time in the gym, as long as you do intervals. Love this...thanks to Women's Health, Men's Health and Self magazine.

I've been doing 20-30 min of cardio, 3 days/wk, and strength training 2 days/wk (with a yoga/pilates session mixed in). When I do 20 min of cardio (treadmill), here's the routine (can be applied to any cardio):
  • Warm up - 3 min walk at moderate pace
  • 2 min jogging at a slow or moderate pace
  • 30 sec -2 min of sprinting (pace should be fast enough that it's uncomfortable to talk - can't complete sentence)
  • 2 min jog at moderate pace (should be able to talk but not totally comfy to do so)
  • 1-2 min sprint
  • 1-2 min speed walk or mellow jog (can talk pretty comfortably)
  • 2 min sprint
  • 2 min jog at moderate pace
  • 1-2 min sprint
  • 1-2 min jog at mellow pace
  • 1-2 min sprint
  • 1-2 min jog at moderate pace
  • etc...
  • Repeat up to 30 min, but not necessary to exceed 30
  • 5 min cool down...moderate walk

The intervals make my workout more enjoyable...keeping me on my toes! It goes by so fast and it's much easier to motivate knowing I only have to spend 20 min to keep up my cardio health.

As long as you are REALLY pushing it to the limit when you're doing the intervals, you will absolutely see results. Try doing 4-12 intervals, depending on your level of fitness.

p.s. Pick up the weights already, ladies! Think about it - the people who are typically lifting weights in the gym are often fit, and those who you see always just doing cardio are typically trying to lose the extra lbs. So...time to do squats, lunges and bicep curls if you really wanna see fab fitness results and be good to your bones!