Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Livin' Lean Topic Tuesday: Break It Up: How to Get the Most Out of Your Workout

Try running at a moderate to fast pace for 10 minutes. Pretty soon, your body gets tired and you want to stop. After those 10 minutes, you are exhausted and maybe even bored. If it's up to you, your workout session is over. However, try sprinting for 1 minute, walking for 1 minute and then doing 5 push-ups. Repeat this for ten minutes and then see how you feel. I would put my money on it that you are feeling a lot better than the first scenario. In fact, you are probably ready to continue your workout at the same intensity. Since you are breaking up the exercises and giving certain muscles time to rest, you are able to work out longer; while maintaining proper technique and higher levels of intensity. This concept is called interval training.

This is a concept our school system's physical education department begins teaching at the elementary level. The mission is to keep students active for longer periods of time. To do this, they need to understand that adding variety and rest to their activities will allow them to sustain energy needed for longer workouts (or in their case, games). It is a simple strategy and it works!!

I have always been a runner and after having my daughter 2 years ago, I had 40 pounds to work off. Since I was heavier than my normal weight and not in running shape, I had to ease into it. If I had tried running continuously for 30 minutes, it wouldn't have gone well. Instead,I would run for a few minutes, walk a few minutes and then perform a weight activity such as bicep curls. I could keep this up for at least 30 minutes and feel good while doing it. Each time, I would challenge myself by increasing speed or time intervals. Eventually, I was back where I wanted to be in "pre-baby" shape. I still use intervals in my workouts to incorporate speed work and weight training. I can't sprint for ten minutes straight, but if I break it up with weights every minute...I can.

Variety is great in all parts of life; even exercise. Spice up your routine and give muscle groups time to rest. You will find yourself working harder and for longer periods of time. It will be an overall more effective workout. Promise!

Have a great Tuesday!!

1 comment:

  1. I've always enjoyed interval training the most!



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