Have You Got IT? Maximize the Minutes in Your Workout

Does your workout have the IT factor?  That is IT as in Interval Training.  Here's an easy tip for getting the most out of your workout:  Add minutes of faster paced, higher intensity exercise into your cardio program.

High intensity interval training is a hot topic in the fitness world.  Several new studies suggest that a few minutes a week of strenuous exercise can improve aerobic fitness more quickly than moderate exercise does, and may improve blood pressure and blood sugar levels after several weeks.

These studies have looked at various bouts of exercise, but haven't established a definitive period of time for interval training to provide maximum health benefits.  It's especially unclear if interval workouts can help maintain weight, since these shortened sessions do not burn as many calories as longer sessions of moderate exercise.  They may not help with building muscle either.

While you may be tempted to cut your workout time by switching to hard workouts of short duration, consider this: Very good epidemiological studies support our current recommendation that 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week is associated with improved health and longevity.  Larger, longer studies need to be done to prove the benefits of short workouts.

To give your longer workouts a little juice, and burn extra calories, try interspersing some interval training.  A good rule of thumb is for every minute of pushing, rest for two minutes, then repeat.  It adds some life into your routine and may also add years to your life!

Speaking personally, it's time for summer vacation!!  We are signing off for the month of July and will be back with more in August.  Enjoy those lazy, hazy days of summer!