Most of us have this desirable goal of losing fat but, when asked to get acting on it, we have a fixed set of excuses ready- No time! Too tough for me! Too boring to repeat the same pattern etc…
Well, it’s time to ditch these excuses and rev up the workouts, which would consume lesser time, could be easily done, least monotonous as you can get creative and come up with your own style… and not to forget- The most effective workout to reduce the fat- Interval training it is!!
Interval training is a workout in which we alternate the bursts of high-intensity exercises with intervals of lighter activity. All that we do here is, we repeatedly challenge our body and then give it shorter breaks to recover, for a massive cardio blast. It helps burn more calories in a short period of time, as compared to a steady-state exercise.
Here’s how it works-
When we vary the intensity while working out, it leads to muscle confusion. Our body gets confused and wonders what’s happening! As a regulatory mechanism, our heart rate shoots up and it starts pumping more blood. More the blood, higher the Oxygen and to your surprise fat combustion occurs more efficiently in the presence of Oxygen.
Ever wondered why candle stops burning when we put a glass over it and block the Oxygen? That’s exactly the principle. Any burning process requires O2 which is a key to burning fat. And since interval training involves a lot of Oxygen, it’s been gaining fame in the fat loss/inch loss sector.
There are no hard and fast rules in interval training. We can have variations as we want, to make it most enjoyable and thus keep boredom at bay.
Interval walk: Walking fast for 2 minutes, then walking slowly for a minute, again fast, then slow and go on this way as long as we can.
Interval runs Alternating 2 minutes run with a 1-minute walk.
Interval swim: Alternating fast-paced swimming moves with slow-paced moves.
We can also try this with cycling, dancing, strengthening exercises (Tabata- being the most popular form of High-Intensity Interval Training) and the list can go on.
It’s quite possible to take interval training to many levels. The length and speed of each high-intensity interval solely depend upon our strength and capacity. To get better with it, we need to make sure we push our body way past our comfort zone each time we do it. Remember, not to rush into strenuous exercise before our body is ready, to avoid injury. Ensure a good warm-up session before starting with it, and end it with stretches.
If you are a novice exerciser, I would say, don’t start with interval training directly. Give your body some time to build the stamina with steady cardio workouts for a few weeks to a month. You can then add interval training to your routine. In fact, you can also add these interval training plans to your gym routine once a week to enhance your speed and cardiovascular endurance.
So what are you waiting for? Jump into your workout shoes and jazz up your workout routine by adding interval training! You can self-observe the changes in your body fat levels. Just pull out a measuring tape, measure your inches before you start with the training and re-measure them after a good gap (say, after a month). You may be surprised with the result. There may be a subtraction in your inches which indicates a drop in fat percentage.
P.s. If you have a chronic health condition (Hypertension or Cardiovascular illness), it’s better to keep away from interval training to avoid any aggravation.