can I get fit faster?
How can I make my workouts more interesting and fun?
How can I tune in to my body instead of watching the clock?
How can I shorten my workout time, without sacrificing quality?
answer is INTERVALS !!!
What is an interval?
That is simple. An interval is a workout pattern that includes
high intensity and then medium intensity. That's all. Not complicated.
Just work harder for a while, and then when you need a break,
work medium for a while.
How do I know when to work harder and when to back off? Your body
will tell you! There is no magic number of minutes to each interval.
You do NOT look at a clock. You just listen to your body.
·When you are
working at higher intensity and your body tells you that you need
a break because you are out of breath, or feel discomfort in your
shins, or it is difficult to maintain your good form as you exercise,
then it is time to take a break.
When you are working at medium intensity and your body tells you
that you have recovered, then it is time to kick it up a notch
and go back to working at higher intensity.
You can include intervals
in any type of workout: swimming, biking, lawn mowing, dancing,
walking, etc. Whatever activity you are enjoying, change the pace
of your activity based on how you feel. Work harder for a while
until you need a rest. Then work medium for a while until you
have recovered. Then work harder for a while until you need a
rest. (When you think about it, isn't this exactly what we do
when we have sex?)
Exercising in intervals is a cycle.
cycle is based on internal motivation.
look inside yourself to notice how you feel. You make every choice
based on how you feel. There is no external measure or goal at
all. Do exactly what feels good to you. Listen to the expert.
The expert on you is YOU.
Here is an example of
a fitness walk using intervals:
Warm-up by walking slowly until you feel a bit
warmer and are breathing a bit faster. This usually takes about
five minutes. Do not skimp on your warm-up! A good warm-up makes
the entire workout more comfortable and more effective.
Then start your intervals:
Each interval has two parts
1: Walk at a medium intensity for a while. Medium
intensity means you can pass the "talk test". You can
talk `while you walk, but you need to take a big breath between
phrases. Notice how you feel. Medium intensity is not a challenge.
Medium intensity is comfortable. If you need to go slow to find
your own individual medium intensity, that is fine. When you have
found your own comfortable pace where you pass the "talk
test", remember how it feels. You will use that same pace
2: Now you are going to walk as fast as you can for as long as
you can. This is the high intensity part. Again,
listen to your body. Walk as fast as you can staying in good form
and posture. There is no set speed. You have to listen to how
you feel to decide what is high intensity for you. Stay at high
intensity as long as you can. That may be minutes or seconds.
That's O.K. When you need a break, go back to medium intensity.
Stay at medium intensity until you feel comfortable again.
That is one interval.
You can repeat this interval as many times as you and your body
feel are right for you. I have given walking as an example. You
can also use interval training with swimming, biking, exercise
videos, even housework or yard work. Remember that you should
never feel chest pain. If you get chest pain, cool-down and see
your doctor. If you get "a stitch in your side", drop
down to moderate or low intensity until it subsides.
cool-down! Walk slowly for at least five full
minutes! Your cool-down is VERY important. Your cool-down is necessary
for your safety and to get full benefit from your workout. That's
all there is to interval walking, your internally motivated
workout that helps you listen to YOUR BODY!
gentle self-care ideas and tools check out
Weight, Eat Healthy and Get Moving NOW!
Workout Clothes for ALL Sizes!
get ready to get walking or exercising this spring, you will need
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My Size up to 3X and those from Lane
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up to 6X, and Plus Woman
up to 10X!
if walking is difficult for you, you can still get fit with the