To tap into a new, higher level of fitness and fat burning, try an interval workout. The combination of aerobic and anaerobic training will give a real boost to your health and make the rest of your workouts seem easier.
- Begin with 5 to 7 minutes of low-intensity work in your exercise mode. For example, walk or jog lightly to start.
- Stretch the major muscle groups, paying particular attention to the lower body.
- Exercise at a higher intensity for 10 minutes. Let your body continue to warm up and get ready for the workout to come.
- Start cycle 1: Exercise for 3 minutes at a pace you could maintain for the entire workout. Then for 1 minute push yourself hard, with a short burst of activity that you couldn’t do for longer than a minute.
- Recover for 30 seconds or longer, but keep moving, and let your breath return to a normal workout level.
- Understand that the cycle is 3 minutes aerobic/recovery and 1 minute anaerobic (3-to-1).
- Complete eight cycles, the first four becoming progressively harder, with the hardest cycles being four and five, then decrease the intensity with cycles six, seven and eight.
- Keep moving for another 3 to 4 minutes or until you feel your heart rate coming down.
- Stretch the major muscles again, this time more deeply and for 20 to 30 seconds.
Always use the first 30 seconds of the aerobic portion to recover and literally catch your breath.
Think of the cycles as going up and down a mountain – as they ascend, it’s hard and there’s not much oxygen at the top, then the descent gets easier.
Note that 1 minute may be too long for a beginner, so try shortening the anaerobic (without oxygen) cycles – even 10 seconds is an effective way to start.
Notice that your heart rate is going way up and then way down; it should peak and valley quite a bit during interval training.
Plan to interval train only once or twice a week.
Allow for 48 hours of recovery between each session. It’s OK to exercise during the 48 hours, but avoid strenuous exercise and anything high-impact.
Drink lots of water.