The secret to weight loss is not really a secret. It’s simply burning more calories than you eat. Both adults and children can drop pounds fast just by dieting alone, but to keep the pounds off, daily exercise is a must. Yes, we all know that we should exercise more. But sometimes it’s unrealistic to fit serious gym time into our routines or get the kids off the couch and outside. If you and your family have always wanted to be more active but you just can’t find the time to do it, you’d be happy to know that short bursts of intense activity may be as effective as longer workouts with light or medium intensity. It’s called interval training or the 60-second workout.
What is Interval Training?
Interval training is alternating the intensity of a physical fitness routine. It involves doing bursts of intense activity followed by bursts of light to moderate activity. Interval training is not a new type of exercise, it has long been popular with runners and other athletes because it improves their capacity to exercise or perform for longer durations. An enhanced variation of interval training is called high intensity interval training or HIIT. It starts with warm up exercises, followed by repetitions of high intensity exercise alternated with medium intensity exercise, and ends with a cool down.
Interval Burst Training:
(anaerobic, not needing oxygen to supply energy) (heart rate is between 90-100% of your maximum) – 1 60-90 second challenge every hour for 8 hours or Four to six challenges that are 60-90 second bursts of exercise with deep breathing rest periods in between repaying the debt.
Interval training is not just for pro athletes. For example, if you’re an avid walker, you can alternate bursts of jogging with brisk walking. Or if you do a lot of housework, you can alternate raking the lawn with going up and down the stairs fast with a load of washing. The great thing about interval training is that you don’t have to join a gym; you can do whatever activity you enjoy right in your own home or even at the office. Kids can also incorporate interval training into their physical routine, like jumping rope or running fast alternated with moderate calisthenics. Just make sure to warm up and stretch first before exercising.
Increase Oxygen Debt For Maximum After-Burn Results
When you do a sprint or an intense circuit, your body can’t supply oxygen at a rate fast enough to fuel the muscle. Another energy system (anarobic) has to kick in to “assist” with providing energy to the muscle. After the intense effort is completed, your body has to basically repay that “borrowed energy”…it owes oxygen to get those muscles back to their normal state. The more energy your body borrowed during an intense effort the more oxygen it owes…this is called Oxygen Debt.
A Large “Oxygen Debt” is Key in Boosting the Metabolism
So after an intense effort like a sprint, you continue to breath hard and your heartbeat is raised…this is your body’s way of repaying the oxygen debt. Does that makes sense? Your metabolism is operating at a higher rate (breathing and heart rate)…to repay the oxygen it borrowed. I’m simplifying this a bit, but this is the basic principle. The larger the oxygen debt created by your workout the longer it will take to repay it…with the benefit of more calories burned for a longer period of time after you are done exercising.
Benefits of Interval Training and Quick workouts
Interval training has the same benefits as regular, moderately intense workouts and most say more. Bursts of intense activity mean you are burning more calories for a shorter time, even if it is only a 60-second workout. Like long distance runners and endurance athletes, you’ll improve your aerobic capacity, meaning you’ll be able to do intense activity for longer periods without crashing. Intense bursts means variety, which means you’re less likely to get bored of your routine. You also don’t need special equipment or a gym membership; just step-up your current activity level. Burst training raises those anabolic (building) hormones like testosterone and HGH, which increases fat burning. Burst training also teaches your body to better handle stress and recover more effectively and burst training promotes post-workout fat burning.
Burst Training Optimizes Fat-Burning Hormones
Numerous life experiences elevate your stress hormone cortisol: stress, lack of sleep, and endurance exercise. Yep, exercising for hours on the elliptical machine can raise your stress hormones. Two things cortisol does very well are stall fat loss and break down muscle.
Now, here’s the rub. All exercise raises cortisol. Unlike endurance training, though, burst training also raises your anabolic (muscle-building) hormones like testosterone and human growth hormone (HGH).
Quick workouts work the entire body in as short as one to five minutes. And if you do intense quick activity alternating with moderately intense activity, you can speed up metabolism and burn more calories. Obviously, the 60-second workout will not burn as much calories as a 30-minute workout. But if you’re pressed for time, mini-workouts are better than no workout at all. You can do mini-workouts anywhere, even at your desk in the office. Here are some exercises both adults and kids can do for 60 seconds:
Jumping Jacks. Jumping jacks are fun and easy to do. If you are fit, you can do full jumping jacks by standing with feet together, then jumping with legs separated while raising your arms overhead. If you’re a beginner, try a half jumping jack by sliding one leg instead of jumping and keeping the other leg stationary.
Jump Rope. Jump rope is another playground staple that’s fun to do. You can jump from one foot to the other or jump with both feet. Try to keep your movements small and precise to conserve energy.
Run up the Stairs. Run up the stairs and walk down, then repeat for an entire minute. You can also take two steps at a time to vary the routine.
Squats with Side Laterals. Enjoying the outdoors in the pictures below. You can squat and do side lateral arm raises as pictured below. You can squat with your arms in the center as pictured and as you come to a standing positionraise your arms. Now the object here is to do this burst routine for 60 seconds at your all out effort safely and effectively. You will be out of breath. This is what I mean by Oxygen debt as I described earlier. Now you repay the debt by breathing deeply for 60 seconds.
The great part is you can do any 60 second burst training individually or in a 4, 6, 9, or 12 min routine in your own home, so dump that expensive gym-membership excuse.
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