Stretching, running, jumping, and laughing with kids is the most exhilarating exercise I have found. It hits all of my senses at once.
I also enjoy spending 2 hours at the lake paddling and peddling our tandem Hobie kayak, an hour of Zumba, or a long brisk walk on a fine day, but when the day gets hectic, and I run out of time, a 4-minute Tabata exercise gets my heart pumping.
Last evening I set the Tabata timer on my phone and did a walk/run around a long couple of very long blocks (5 minutes) to and from our house. The sun was going down, the air was cooling after a hot summer day, and I could feel the breeze blowing across my face. Being outdoors, watching the blue and pink cloudless sky, I was having so much fun that I didn’t notice how much I was exercising until I could hear my breath over the tapping of my feet against the concrete.
I started with a short warm up walk then alternated a 20 second run with a 10 second walk, and ended with a cool down walk. Yes, just seconds! Tabata or Interval Training alternates stressing and relaxing your body. You can do interval exercise for 4 minutes or 45 minutes depending on your time and workout needs.
Although a 4-minute walk/run will not meet your total fitness goals, as you get more fit, you can increase the intensity of your 4 minute workout as part of your aerobic and strength training. At home I like to alternate deep knee bends with jumping jacks, and then change the strengthening and aerobic exercise for the next workout. A simple Tabata for Beginners workout is a good start to building your routine. If you want a Challenge Tabata (More power to you. If you know you are fit--give it a try).
The American Council on Exercise evaluated the Tabata protocol exercise routine and said, “Four minutes to fitness? Maybe not, but clearly, based on the evidence, short-burst, high-intensity training is the real deal. And adapting Tabata-style training to fit your client’s workouts is without a doubt another very effective approach you can employ to help them achieve their goals.”
Interval Training is the same idea of short bursts of activity to bring up your heart rate and then lower it. Walk/run; walk then walk faster; aerobic then stretch. Keep boredom at bay with interval Training. From WebMD and Mayoclinic.
Whatever you do, just move, have fun, change it up, and check with your doctor before starting any new intensive workout.
When the weather is nice, I can do interval exercises outdoors and practice mindfulness at the same time. Coming next:
Staying Fit for Life and Career Success (Part Two) Mindfulness.
For more on a healthy lifestyle participate in my live or recorded webinar, “10 Ways to Model a Healthy Lifestyle for More Effective Career Services.” Register now for the recorded webinar offers an NBCC approved CEU.
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