Intervals for Weight Loss

woman jogging blur Intervals for Weight LossHave you ever spent an hour or more on a cardio session and felt that you’ve done something good for yourself?  I hate to break the unfortunate news to you, but extended cardio is not only less than helpful, it can be downright detrimental to your weight loss efforts.

I know, I know.  How can this be?  Don’t all the gurus put out workout videos with 60 minute cardio sessions, promising sculpted abs, tighter glutes, and toned arms?  The truth is that these long periods of cardio are not only ineffective, they’re actually training your body to hold on to those excess pounds.

When you perform aerobic exercise for a long duration several times a week, your body is signaled to hold onto fat because it thinks it will need it to keep up with the time you spend exercising.  Shocking, isn’t it?

This is where intervals come in.  Intervals are short periods (like 30 to 60 seconds) of high intensity exercise, the kind in which you can’t talk easily while doing.  You just alternate it with periods of low intensity movement, like marching in place or light jogging.

So, for instance, if you were to do jumping jacks, you would perform them with as much energy as you could for 30 seconds, then take another 30 to march in place.  Repeat 10 times and you have a cardio interval workout.

The great thing about this is that any exercise can be used, even strength training exercises like squats or lunges.  You could also do this on a treadmill by alternating your speeds or while outside running by alternating your intensity.

However, that’s not the best part.  The BEST part is that you only need about 15 minutes of this a day.  That’s right!  No lengthy cardio marathons that leave you exhausted and take up a huge chunk of your time.

How does this work?  Well, the short bursts of high-energy exercise encourage your body to burn the maximum amount of calories without storing fat to be used during long workouts.  It also stimulates the growth hormone that tells your muscles to put on lean muscle mass.

Another secret of the interval workout is called EPOC, or excess post-exercise oxygen consumption.  When your body does interval-style exercise, it creates a need to burn oxygen for the next 24 to 48 hours, meaning you burn more calories over the next day than you would if you had devoted an hour of your life to meaningless cardio.

Think it sounds too good to be true?  Well, it’s too good because it is true!  If you’re skeptical, just try it for a month and see what you think.  If you don’t feel that it’s helped you, then by all means, return to the long, boring aerobic workouts you think you’ll miss.

Be warned, however:  Returning to never-ending workout sessions is hard to do once you’ve tasted the benefits of short, effective interval-style training.  Prepare for quicker weight loss, more energy, and more compliments!

Need a plan to help you get started? Our favorite interval based weight loss program is Fit Yummy Mummy. Whether you are a man or woman this program only takes 15min a day and WILL work.

Previous post:

Next post: