If you’re anything like me, you love starting your day with a great workout. However, many people believe that they should work out once a day (for about an hour or so). I’ve got some shocking information for you and it will change the way you workout for life!
Slow and steady does not win the race
You read that right, folks. Working out for an hour or so going from machine to machine is only going to wear your body down. Dr. Joel Seeman (an exercise psychologist) has research to back this up!
“Excessively long workouts create a lot of fatigue that will deteriorate your movement patterns, and your technique is going to break down. That’s not only going to have a negative impact on that workout itself, but the poor technique you engrained in that workout will trickle into the next workout,” he says.
This is an incredible finding, and I want to take amount to stop and reflect on it so it really sinks in. Long, slow workouts just wear you down without actually helping you. If this is the case, what can we do to make sure this doesn’t happen?
Try Interval Training
Interval training means alternating workouts through short bursts of high-intensity exercise, rather than pushing yourself over time. “High-intensity basically means exercising at a higher intensity or velocity than you could otherwise sustain for 5 to 10 minutes before becoming exhausted,” says Dr. Howard Knuttgen at Harvard-affiliated Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital.
Howard found that interval training was actually better for your heart and cardiovascular health. Exercising in intervals trains your heart to recover faster because it starts to expect another intense push. When you train without a break, you don’t give your heart or your body the time it needs to recover.
You generally want to do about 150 minutes of high-intensity training per week, simplifying to 30 minutes per day. This training can range anywhere from a fast-paced walk each morning to selecting “interval” on a workout machine in the gym. It’s so simple to do, and it will ensure that your body is getting the right amount of exercise (and relaxation) it needs.
The Final Verdict
Interval training is great for those who have busy schedules and can’t afford to work out for long periods of time. You can break up your 60-minute workout throughout the day while doing 30 minutes of walking in the morning and 30 minutes of strength training at night. You don’t have to do interval training every day, but it’s recommended that you do it four times a week to see results.
Personally, I love to do four short 15-minute workouts every day. Usually, that consists of a few quick walks (I don’t jog or run because it hurts my knees), some ab workouts (i.e. leg lifts, planks, crunches, and bicycles), and some strength training (i.e. pushups, pull-ups, and dips, bench press, curls, and tricep curls).
A Word of Warning
As great as interval training is, you should exercise caution when first starting out. For an otherwise healthy person, interval training should be fine as long as you start slow. However, if you have heart disease or high blood pressure, talk to your doctor before starting interval training, or any new exercise program for that matter — especially if you’re not very active.
Are you going to change up your workout routine now that you know about interval training? I know I sure have, and I can never look at working out the same way again! Thanks for reading, and don’t forget to share so we can spread the word and help people everywhere.