Change Your Workout; Interval Your Life

By ELIZABETH GREEN

Staff Writer

What are avid gym-goers most afraid of? I can’t speak for all, but this exercise enthusiast is most scared of gaining back weight she has lost from past exercises because of a sedentary metabolism. The American College of Sports Medicine conducted a study in 2010 showing that a relatively healthy person can go to the gym everyday and still not lose any weight or possibly gain weight. This is all because of the way the gym attendees go about exercising. 

Most exercisers have either a slow or fast approach to working out. If cardio is the first choice of fitness, the person will either keep up a moderate pace on the elliptical or sweat it out on the treadmill for an hour at a time. This may make you feel better at the end of a long day or it may just make your knees hurt. 

Any workout can start to hinder a person’s chance of weight loss if it is completed steadily and repeated day in and day out. The most efficient way to work out and reach your specific weight loss goal is to practice a little fitness trick called “interval training”. 

Interval training is a healthy median between rest and motion. It consists of alternating bursts of energy of intense activity with intervals of lighter activity. This means that you can workout for shorter periods of time, with no more grueling hours of walking on the track, and get better results. 

How does interval training work? It pairs specifically with the anaerobic system, which uses the energy or glycogen stored in the muscles for short bursts of activity. As the exerciser rests, the aerobic system uses the oxygen just worked up from the intense movement to convert stored carbohydrates into energy. This stops the metabolism from stabilizing itself and staying sedentary during exercise. Losing weight means burning more carbohydrates than you consume during the day. With interval training, the body is constantly in motion and the metabolism is constantly working harder than it does usually. By practicing this form of excercise, at rest you are still burning the calories you consume and therefore, lose more weight than you would with other traditional exercises.

Interval training could be anything from stair running to speed drills, shuttle runs and jump rope workouts. The best thing about interval training is that it can be done either inside or outside of a gym. Working out in intervals can also really help boost confidence about what the gym is doing for your body and for your life. Some benefits of this type of workout are; burning more calories, improving balance and gives the excerciser less of a chance to get bored while working out. You will also get to work out different muscles than you would normally. 

Negative sides of working out in intervals are that it could be dangerous if not done correctly. For example, there must be days of rest. These days could be, if you still want to work out everyday of the week, choosing the weekend to simply walk outside and not workout intensely. Anyone with a bad heart or a disease like diabetes should consult a doctor before trying interval training. Some safety tips to keep in mind while trying interval training are; warm up before intervals, figure out where you are currently with your workouts and start slow [do not work out harder than you know you can until you are sure you are ready], bring your heart rate down considerably while at rest, drink fluids while working out, and always workout in a safe area where you can get to help if you need to. 

How can you get started with interval training? Go to your gym and find a trainer that can explain to you the benefits and proper ways to include interval training in your life and your workout. Look online for sample exercises to start. Youtube is a great online website to find sample excercises for free. Looking to try something that excites your workout and helps you lose the weight more efficiently? Interval your life!

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