Posts tagged ‘exercise’

Weight loss – it’s complex, so DON’T JUDGE

It is so easy to judge others when you just look at the situation from the outside and don’t know the underlying factors involved.  I think of the old “walk a mile in my shoes” song by Elivs Presley:

Walk a mile in my shoes
just walk a mile in my shoes
Before you abuse, criticize and accuse
Then walk a mile in my shoes

The Weighing it up: Obesity in Australia report by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Health and Ageing reported that overweight and obese people can be perceived as “lazy, bad, weak, stupid and lacking in self-discipline”.  One witness told the Committee of her ‘overwhelming sense of shame and hurt’ at the remarks passed by strangers, friends and work colleagues about her weight.

A small, seemingly insignificant energy imbalance results in weight gain over time. In their submission, the Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA) told the Committee that over the past 20 years the average weight of Australian adults has increased by 0.5-1kg. This gain is caused by a daily extra energy intake of as little as 100 kcal, equivalent to one slice of bread, a soft drink or 30 minutes of sitting instead of brisk walking.

There are a number of factors that influence the ability of individuals to control their body weight. These include:
biological reasons;

  • the obesogenic environment;
  • psychological factors;
  • socio-economic levels; and
  • knowledge/education.

BIOLOGICAL REASONS:  The body is designed to store fat as an energy reserve for lean times – a feature we developed during the thousands of years when a regular meal could not be guaranteed. It explains why weight is relatively easy to put on – but hard to get off.  A related biological factor that influences a person’s ability to lose weight is the body’s homeostatic regulation. When we change our dietary or activity habits, the body may react to maintain or increase its current weight by adjusting the basal metabolism. (Our basal metabolism is the amount of energy we use to maintain our bodily functions, like breathing, when we are at rest.) This response is linked to our survival mechanisms, allowing the body to protect itself from starvation. If you eat less, your body will use less energy. If you exercise more, your body will stimulate your appetite so that you eat more.  The body can really fight to maintain its weight making big changes to the basic metabolism that you cannot consciously control.

THE OBSOGENIC ENVIRONMENT:  Societal changes have created an environment where we are time poor, rely on cars, walk less and have increased access to convenience foods. Maintaining healthy weight has ceased to be a by-product of everyday life, and instead has become a personal project requiring constant vigilance and resistance to widespread cultural and social patterns.

PSYCHOLOGICAL FACTORS:  People suffering from anxiety, depression and low self-esteem will find it very difficult to make the behavioural change necessary to alter their eating and exercise habits. Psychological factors and obesity often operate in a cyclical fashion so that someone who is overweight becomes depressed, or someone who is depressed puts on weight.  It can be difficult to distinguish which is the root cause.   The emphasis on body image in our society exacerbates the mental and emotional problems associated with being overweight. Many individuals spoke of denying their condition while at the same time being ashamed of their body image. One witness told the Committee she had been able to ignore her body image while she was obese but, once she took control and began to successfully lose weight, she was overly focused on it, worrying about how much she had lost each week.  “You look at yourself and you think, ‘How can I have gotten like this?’ I think it becomes a much bigger issue than people realise. Psychological support is crucial.”

SOCIO-ECONOMIC LEVELS:  There is a direct link between lower socio-economic status and obesity.  People in lower socio-economic groups may not be able to afford to buy good quality food and do not have easy access to recreational activities.

KNOWLEDGE/EDUCATION:  Individuals need assistance to negotiate the abundance of information, some of which is conflicting.  The confusion over food choice is compounded by the loss of basic food skills such as cooking. Evidence suggests that cooking is no longer learnt in the home and is not taught in schools, so people are unsure how to prepare nutritious meals. Food is often marketed to us on the basis of convenience of preparation rather than true nutritional value.

PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY

Throughout the course of the inquiry, the Committee repeatedly heard that ultimately individuals must take responsibility for their own health, including their weight. Obesity is caused by an imbalance in energy intake (from diet) and expenditure (from activity). Individually we make the decisions as to how much we eat and how much activity we undertake.

While putting weight on can happen gradually over time without us noticing, getting it off usually requires concerted effort.  So don’t judge others. We haven’t “walked a mile in their shoes”.  We don’t know the complex interaction of factors that may be affecting their ability to achieve health and wellness.

Let me encourage you:  Don’t give up when change proves difficult and results do not come quickly enough.  The end result is worth the effort.  Continue with your quest to be the best that you can be.

Sections of this article have been taken from the report Weighing it up: Obesity in Australia.   The full report can be found at http://www.aph.gov.au/house/committee/haa/obesity/report.htm

January 6, 2010 at 10:28 am Leave a comment

CHRONIC FATIGUE – NUTRITION

In my blog on chronic fatigue – diet – I talked about the importance of Low GI eating and how cutting out sugars helped. However, all the things I tried put together didn’t give me a turn around to recovery. But there is one thing which did give me a sudden and marked improvement, and that is the addition of glyconutrients to my diet. If you would like to know more about glyconutrients and what they are, I have done a couple of blogs entitled “Sugars that heal? That doesn’t sound right” and “More about glyconutrients”, so I suggest you go have a read of these blogs, as I won’t repeat that information here.

How did I hear about glyconutrients? I was at the point of desperation. I was still working full time, but not really managing to keep up with the house and/or the kids. I had just come to the conclusion that I would have to give up full time work and drop back to part time hours because I knew I wasn’t really coping. I was sharing with a counsellor how hard I was finding life. She knew someone who had recovered from chronic fatigue after taking glyconutrients, and she gave me the contact details. I met with Elizabeth the next day and after hearing her story started taking glyconutrients that night. Elizabeth warned me that my body could initially have a negative reaction as it started to clear itself of toxins and get the immune system working again. She also emphasised that glyconutrients are a food to the body, not a drug. So I was not to expect any “miracle cure” from taking glyconutrients – my body would work through its own healing process in its own time. Since we are all individuals it is hard to predict how someone’s body will respond.

I was delighted to find that my body responded immediately, and positively. The first thing I noticed was that the mental fogginess lifted. You know that feeling you have when you’ve got a cold and your head is all stuffed up – you feel like your head is packed with cotton wool and your brain just won’t function properly.  I had always been an efficient and organised person at work, and I really minded the fact that I could no longer perform well. Within two weeks of starting to take glyconutrients I started to feel more like my old self. At last I could concentrate and remember! What a relief! I didn’t actually get ANY negative reaction from glyconutrients. It was as if my body just loved it and put it immediately to work.

I quickly started to feel less physically tired, but the physical healing has taken place gradually. It was 2004 when I got sick, and my first major milestone in recovery was completing the 53 kilometre “Great Bike Ride” in November 2007. That was something I couldn’t have done BEFORE I got chronic fatigue, but it was my first confirmation that I was really well after having had chronic fatigue, as I could do that amount of exercise without getting the dreadful whammy effect afterwards.

My various achievements since then have included:

* a 567 kilometre “Great Escapade” 9 day bike ride around the south west of Western Australia

* a Mini Triathlon where I came first in my age group (50-55) and 12th overall.

* reducing my time by half an hour when I did the 53 kilometre “Great Bike Ride” in 2008

* coming 8th in my age group in my first ever 4 kilometre fun run.

I can confidently say that I am not only well, but I am better than I have ever been. I am fitter now than I was in my 20s and 30s. I am loving being well and having lots of energy.

I am still taking glyconutrients, along with these other supplements –

  • an antioxidant to protect my body from free radicals;

  • natural plant-based phytosterols to assist with hormonal balance; and

  • a plant sourced multivitamin and mineral supplement that can be easily absorbed by the body.

I highly recommend these products to you.

For more information about these, go to mannapages.com/suzi, click on Browse Products, and choose Optimal Health. Scroll down to the Health Solutions Starter sets to get the basic four products I take to enjoy optimal health.

I invite you to contact me on mobile 0418 189 435 or email suzimorrisblog@gmail.com

May 12, 2009 at 1:32 pm Leave a comment

CHRONIC FATIGUE – EXERCISE MINDSET

Continuing on from my last blog on exercise, one of the biggest battles I had to face with chronic fatigue was not in my physical body, but in my mind. You develop this energy-poverty mindset. Have you heard of the poverty mindset that low income earners can get stuck in? This is the same idea, but the poverty arises from a lack of energy rather than a lack of money. You get to know that you don’t have enough energy. You start to try and hoard it, to conserve it, to retain it in case you need it. It’s a dreadful feeling to hit that physical wall – to totally run out of energy before you’ve run out of day, to have nothing with which you can keep going to do the things you need to do (eg care for the family). So you begin to try and live within the constraints of the small amount of energy you have. You don’t want to do too much in case you over-step the mark. If you do a bit more, you are fearful of what the consequences will be. Will you be so sore the next day that you regret it? If you do too much today, will you be unable to do anything tomorrow? Do you see what I mean?

As I began to recover, I found myself unwilling to stretch myself, to try new things, to achieve more. What helped me greatly was to set a goal and work (very gradually) towards achieving that goal. For example, my first goal in 2007 was to do the Great Bike Ride, a 53 km trip around the Swan River from Perth to Fremantle and back to Perth. I had done a bit of bike riding over the years, but my maximum was about 15 kilometres. To think of riding 53 kilometres was a big thing for me. But I got a riding buddy and I started off at the 15 kilometre mark and increased it gradually week by week until I had ridden 60 kilometres. Unfortunately, the week before the event I got a cold and the doctor advised me not to ride. I was so determined – so much effort had gone into preparing for the ride over a long period of time and I was not going to miss out on the opportunity to achieve what I had set out to do. I did the ride in about 2 hours 33 minutes, which was a good time for me. It did set me back health wise – as the doctor predicted I was sick with the flu for two weeks after that. But what it did for me mentally was worth it. I had never conceived of myself as being able to ride 53 kilometres, but I did it. I then began to wonder – what else is there that I have never thought I would be able to do that might actually be possible for me?

My next goal was the “City to Surf” fun run. I don’t know what possessed me to think of this, as I had never run before in my life and I was over 50, but I started at the end of April and the run was at the end of August 2008. I began by walking and doing 10 steps of running after every 30 walking steps, then increasing the number of running steps until I could do a gentle jog for 10 minutes or so. Then I enrolled in an exercise class which included some cardio work and I very gradually built up. Some physical mechanical problems arose due to my poor running style and lack of good running shoes. I worked with a physiotherapist to address these problems. I was not able to do the 12 k run but I did the 4 k run and came 8th in my age group with a time of 29 minutes.

In 2008 I did the Great Bike Ride again, this time in 2 hours and 3 minutes (I cut 30 minutes off my previous time!). Then I was on a roll. I enrolled in a triathlon training course adding swimming to the mix, and came first in my age group and 12th overall. Swimming was my weak link – I hadn’t swum since I was at primary school over 40 years ago!

Now I feel like I can accomplish anything I want to do. I completed a 567 km bike ride around the very hilly south west in March-April this year and I’m going to try for the 12 km City to Surf fun run in August. What time will I achieve in the Great Bike Ride this year? I’ll let you know!!! Next year I will do another triathlon.

As I have set and achieved each goal it has proved my wellness to me. I am not just back to where I was before I got chronic fatigue – I’m much better than that! I am fitter now than I was in my 20s and 30s. And I now believe that there is much more I can accomplish.

I still find myself tending to hold back just a bit, to be unwilling to go all out, to totally expend my energy in case I hit that wall again. That was such an awful feeling, I never want to go back there. In my training sessions I will start off at an easy pace and maintain that until the final 10 or 15 minutes. Once I know that I have just about made the distance then I am willing to take that risk of going all out for a short while. I hope that as I develop confidence over time I will hold myself back less and less and so I will accomplish more and more. Do you see how my biggest battle is in my mind rather than in my body?

As I mentioned in my previous blog on exercise, a central factor in my being able to make progress with the exercise has been the use of a non-sugar laden energy drink (EMPACT) to extend my stamina while doing workouts, and a post-exercise recovery aid (SPORT). Mentally, this boosted me up and made me more willing to go for it during my exercise sessions because:

1 I believe the EMPACT sports drink give me the stamina to last out a tough session; and

2 I know that the SPORT tablets help me recover afterwards without the dreadful “whammy” effect of dreadfully sore muscles.

For more information about these, go to mannapages.com/suzi, click on Browse Products, and choose Performance Nutrition. Or contact me on mobile 0418 189 435 or email suzimorrisblog@gmail.com.

April 30, 2009 at 11:13 am Leave a comment

CHRONIC FATIGUE – EXERCISE

It’s a double-edged sword when you’ve got chronic fatigue.

You’ve got no energy. You want to be doing things, but you can’t. When you do too much there’s a horrible “whammy” effect – totally drained of energy and a dreadfully sluggish aching body with sore muscles that lasts for days afterwards. There is no such thing as normal recovery time when you have chronic fatigue. It can take nearly a week to recover from even a moderate exercise session.

It doesn’t help to rest. The less you do the less you feel like doing, then the less you are able to do. One of the keys to recovery is to keep trying. My doctor spoke to me about “moderation” and “balance”. He said it just a matter of energy in and energy out. Yeah, right!! All the normal equations just don’t work when you have chronic fatigue. I found it varied on a daily basis. One day I COULD do something, the next day (same diet, same amount of sleep) I just COULD NOT do it! It was so frustrating!

My mantra became – do SOMETHING every day.

Prior to having chronic fatigue I had been working out on a home gym. Once I had chronic fatigue there were some days when all I could do was the stretching session I would normally have done BEFORE I started my workout. If that was all I could do that day, I at least did that. Some days I could do more, and they were good days. You have to reduce your expectations. Your body cannot perform as it once did – you physically hit a wall, and that’s it ….. no more energy.

Don’t wait until you FEEL LIKE working out – you’ll be waiting forever. Your muscles will atrophy, you’ll lose your flexibility and balance and then any movement will be difficult. Do SOMETHING every day. Keep yourself moving and stretching. Keep trying to do more. I often did not feel like working out, I did not enjoy working out, and I didn’t feel great afterwards. But when I didn’t bother to work out – I didn’t feel any better for it. I didn’t have more energy for other things. I didn’t feel positive or powerful or in control. When I didn’t work out I felt more tired and more depressed. I found I was better if I did something rather than nothing.

And by keeping on with it, by doing whatever something you are able to do, and adjusting your diet and nutrition and many other little things you gradually find that you are able to do more…… and more. You feel stronger and better, and gradually you get well.

One thing I MUST mention, as it has been a central factor in my being able to make progress with the exercise, is the use of a non-sugar laden energy drink (EMPACT) to extend my stamina while doing workouts, and a post-exercise recovery aid (SPORT). For more information about these, go to mannapages.com/suzi, click on Browse Products, and choose Performance Nutrition. Or contact me on mobile 0418 189 435 or email suzimorrisblog@gmail.com.

There is one other very important part to this exercise session, but I will make that a separate post, called EXERCISE MINDSET.  Stay tuned for this very important factor.

April 29, 2009 at 1:33 pm Leave a comment

CHRONIC FATIGUE – DIET

I’m doing a series of posts to give you a bit more information about my battle with chronic fatigue – what worked, what didn’t, where to go for more help.  I will add to it on a regular basis as I get time.

There is no one thing which provides the whole answer. It is a combination of things that help: diet, exercise, supplements being the main ones, so I will start with DIET.

DIET

When you have chronic fatigue, managing your energy levels is difficult. Mostly, you just run out of energy before you run out of day. I remember thinking to myself that it was like having one of those small espresso cups of coffee and that was your energy quota for the day. Not nearly sufficient to get you through a normal 16 hour day! And when it was gone, it was gone. There was no more energy. You found yourself almost at the point of collapse. So one became very cautious about how one spent that energy, and very focused on ways to top it up.

At the beginning of my battle, I used to eat foods that I thought would give me an energy boost – muesli bars, nut bars, chocolate bars etc. Most of these were sugar-laden and provided a short term energy spike which led to a later (even bigger) energy slump. I realised that they weren’t helping me.

My doctor suggested eating foods which are as fresh as possible – young fruits and vegetables that are just picked. Things like sprouts and lots of leafy green vegetables. I tried this, but it didn’t make much difference to me.

In order to give my body the maximum energy and try to maintain that energy at an even level throughout the day, I started eating low GI foods. This turned out to be one of the best things I ever did, and I still eat low GI foods today. Low GI foods are those that contain protein, are more dense, and take longer for your body to process. Therefore they deliver energy over a longer period of time and avoid the energy spikes that come from eating high GI carbohydrate rich and sugar laden foods. For more information on Low GI eating, go to http://www.glycemicindex.com for a list of foods and their GI. You will also find some great low GI recipes at http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/collections/low+gi

I also eliminated ALL sugar from my diet. I had been a “cookie monster”, loving my cakes and biscuits. I had never had a weight problem and so never needed to pay any particular attention to my diet. I ate pretty much what I liked. However, I hated having chronic fatigue so much and was so determined to get better that I thought it was worth the sacrifice to cut sugars out of my diet. Initially it was difficult, but once you have been through the “withdrawal” period your body adjusts and you no longer crave the sugar. After a while, the sweet treats you used to love are no longer enjoyable, as they taste just TOO sweet. I was quite zealous about this. No sugary drinks at all, no lollies, chocolate, cakes, biscuits, ice creams. If I allowed myself to have even just one lolly it would start the craving for more. Like an alcoholic I suppose – can’t stop at just one drink!

Cutting out sugars from my diet is one thing that did make a marked difference. It seemed to make my body less achey and a little less lethargic. If I indulged and had sweets one evening when we were out to tea I really regretted it the next day, as I felt heaps worse. I learned that it was worth making the sacrifice. Interestingly enough, now that I have recovered I find that I can eat the sweet stuff again without any after effects. I still stick with a low GI diet, but I’m not quite so extreme about eliminating ALL sugars.

Cutting out all sugars is one thing I would highly recommend if you have chronic fatigue. When I met other people with chronic fatigue I would tell them of how much I had benefited from cutting out sugars, but they were horrified and said they couldn’t do THAT! I was surprised at their reaction – I was so desperate I would have done anything to get well, but they preferred to stay sick. Go figure! If you need more convincing that sugar is not good for you, go to http://www.formerfatguy.com/articles/124reasons-no-sugar.asp

I also cut out tea, coffee and alcohol. I wanted to keep my body as “clean” as possible and not give it any toxin load to cope with. Again, this seemed to help, and I would recommend you try it. I drank lots of plain water and green tea (for its anti-oxidants). I really enjoy a glass of wine, but again I decided it was worth the sacrifice to be well. At social events I would drink soda water, either plain or with a small amount of natural orange juice (no added sugar!).  Again, now that I am well I find it doesn’t affect me at all to have a glass of wine.  But while I was sick, it make a big difference to cut it out.

I used to eat a lot of plain yogurt – it is good for your intestinal health. However I discovered much later that although I am not lactose intolerant I actually do better on a non-dairy diet. Cutting out dairy foods seems to agree with my body, and I still use only soy milk and keep the use of cheese to a minimum.

I discovered the benefits of a non-dairy diet while on a liver-cleansing diet. I would never have thought to try this, but my doctor discovered that my liver was not doing well as a result of some medicine I had been taking and he put me on a liver cleansing diet. I was already 2 years into my healing journey by then. I wasn’t happy about this to start with, but it did make a difference to how I felt and it did fix my liver problem. A sluggish liver that is not performing properly can make you feel terrible. So a liver cleansing diet is always worth a try.

What works as far as diet is concerned is a very personal thing. I have told you what works for me, but we are all different. If you want to be well, it is worth trying these suggestions. Don’t make excuses in your own mind about why you shouldn’t try it – have a go and if it makes a difference to you, then you will be glad you did.

CONTACT SUZI

Email:  sumos@westnet.com.au

Twitter:  http://twitter.com/SuziMorris

Myspace:  www.myspace.com/suzi1956

Squidoo lens:  http://www.squidoo.com/HealthOver50

Business Building:  http://sumos.magneticsponsoringonline.com

April 27, 2009 at 3:42 am Leave a comment

Relief from pain and stiffness

knee-painIf you need help with extra strains and pains experienced when over exerting or suffering from minor injuries, inflammation or muscular cramps and spasms, then I have some good news for you!

I’m sure you would prefer not to take anti-inflammatory drugs, but there are times when you really need some help and have to take something.

There is a natural alternative to help your body heal itself. This is not a pain-killer, or a drug, but rather a natural food supplement designed to give your body what it needs to repair and rejuvenate after an injury or operation.

I have personally experienced the benefits. I started running at 52 years of age in 2008. I had never run before in my life, but I wanted to have a go at the 12 kilometre City to Surf fun run (just for something different – it seemed like a good idea at the time). I immediately began to experience pain in my knees and went off to the physiotherapist for some very expensive treatment and was taking anti-inflammatories, until I discovered this natural alternative. I didn’t recover sufficiently to do the 12 k fun run in 2008, but I am in training and on track to do it in 2009. I participated in my first ever triathlon on 1 March 2009, coming first in my age group and 12th overall. I have also seen the results of this supplement in Eddy, an 84 year old from Perth in Western Australia, who could easily bend down and touch his toes and was jumping around like a delighted two year old at his new found freedom of movement after years of stiffness and reduced flexibility.

This all-natural product has a combination of ingredients that set it apart from other supplements. Some of the key components are:

PROTEASE (Aspergillus oryzae and Aspergillus Meulus) a proteolytic enzyme that breaks down proteins and aids in recovery from overexertion.

BROMELAIN – a proteolytic enzyme extracted from the root and stem of the pineapple that may reduce swelling, bruising, and pain following surgery or minor injuries suffered during physical activity.

CURCUMIN – a member of the ginger family, is a potent antioxidant which when consumed in concentrated doses shows positive effects as an anti-inflammatory.

RESVERATROL – a phytoalexin that is from Japanese knotweed. It can also be found in red grape skins and other berries. Resveratrol is known for its antioxidant effects.

I take two tablets first thing in the morning on an empty stomach and then wait 45 minutes before having my breakfast. Easy! I ride, run, swim, play tennis and do two structured exercise sessions per week, so I just take the product every day to maintain pain-free mobility.

Whether you’re working out in the gym, playing with your children, doing housework, playing golf or any sport related activity, or generally leading an active lifestyle, this product help the body take care of the extra strains and pains experienced when over exerting or suffering from minor injuries, inflammation or muscular cramps and spasms.

Want to know more? Go to http://www.mannapages.com/suzi, browse products under WELLNESS MANAGEMENT for further information. Or click on the CONTACT ME link at the top right hand corner of the mannapage and I will respond.

April 12, 2009 at 3:11 am Leave a comment

Do you want to burn calories?

ex-bike-screenA lot of women love the idea that if they are on the treadmill or exercise bike for an hour or more they can burn 400 – 500 calories, and that makes them feel good. The immediate feedback of seeing the readout on the screen telling you how many calories you have burned is very gratifying, and mitigates any guilt you may feel about the chocolate bar or double deluxe bacon burger you ate last night!

The screen readout showing 500 calories burned looks impressive, but the bad news is that the high calorie burn you got from your hour(s) on the treadmill or exercise bike disappears quite quickly. Your body goes back to “normal” shortly after the cardio session ends. Because it has such a short lived effect, this does not make a big difference on your body’s ability to lose fat.

In fact, long sessions of cardio can actually work against your fat loss goals. Muscle is the foundation of your calorie burn – the more lean muscle you have the more calories you burn, all day long (not just when you are exercising). However, the more cardio you do the more you put your body at risk of taking energy from or burning lean muscle. If your lean muscle mass is reduced, your calorie burning capacity is reduced, so your fat loss is slowed. Long sessions of cardio work against your fat loss goals.

As your body becomes more accustomed to the level of cardio you do, ie as your fitness level increases, you will find that you end up having to do more and more cardio to achieve the same amount of calorie burning. It seems that you are working increasingly harder just to maintain a body that you are not really happy with any way!

It can leave you feeling like nothing works. You may think that there is no other option, but to keep increasing the length of your cardio session.

My suggestion is interval training.

Intervals are a type of “cardio” workout where you alternate brief, high intensity periods of exercise (where you are working flat out) with active recovery periods (where you slow down just long enough to catch your breath). High intensity cardio intervals are much more effective than ‘normal’ low intensity cardiovascular exercise – especially in terms of fat loss.

When intervals are performed at an intense level, your body will spend the rest of the day expending energy to recover from the challenge you have given it. This is referred to as EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption) and it means that you consume a great deal more oxygen recovering from the exercise bout than you would have if you’d just done a steady-state workout – this in turn allows you to burn more fat and calories for the rest of the day.

Short and sweet is the way to go. 10-15 minutes of high intensity cardio performed 3 or 4 times per week is all you need to shed fat and “tone up”.

Interval training can provide all of the following fitness benefits:

* dramatically boosted metabolism – both during AND after exercise
* faster rate of body fat-to-energy conversion
* preserves lean muscle (muscle is your metabolism – you do not what to lose this!)
* significant increase in aerobic capacity (Max VO2) = increased endurance and stamina


How to “Do” Intervals:
Example: Walking on the Treadmill

Start with a three to five minute warm-up then go right into your first interval: 30 seconds of brisk walking (or jogging). At the end of 30 seconds, you should be winded and ready to slow down. This will be your active recovery period, slowing your walking down for the next 2 minutes. Then repeat by increasing the intensity of your speed for 30 seconds.

3-5 minute warm up
30-60 sec. “high”
30-90 sec “low”
Repeat this pattern for 4 to 8 complete Intervals (a total of 10 to 15 minutes) and finish with a cool down. You will find that a mere 8 minutes feels quite long and intense.

The wonderful thing about interval training is that it is so time effective. Remember that your 15 minute investment gives you a bonus effect. Your metabolism is revved up and you will be burning fat all day long – not just when you are exercising.

More good news: You actually do not need any special equipment for an effective intervals workout. All you need is your own body! Moves such as jumping jacks, jump rope and running in place provide just the intensity you need for a great interval workout.

So do yourself a favour – reduce the time you spend doing cardio by adopting high intensity interval training, and burn more calories!

April 11, 2009 at 2:21 pm Leave a comment

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