If you are doing my recommended 20 minutes of cardio a day then congratulations, but are you really getting the maximum results? Are you doing the best cardio for women? The kind of cardio that melts off fat fast, keeps muscle on and has you energized for the day?
It is great if you can run straight for 20 minutes but this alone is not the best cardio workout you can get to your day. It has been shown that interval training is key to increase cardiovascular workout results. And when it comes to women's cardio this is the way to go, hands down.
Interval training is a simple concept but yet few serious workout women take advantage of it. The key is to increase and decrease intensity through the workouts. Hard to believe this is going to have your burning more calories?
Well believe it.
The stress that going up and down puts on your body is really going to jump your cardio results up! The sudden burst your heart goes through when changing from a moderate intensity to a high intensity is really where the benefit of cardio interval workouts come from.
This sudden surge requires a ton of energy, so each time to decrease down a level and burst back up really revs up your workout, your metabolism, your calorie burn and your fat melting. All of the women's exercise programs I design for cardio are based on this idea and I follow it myself so I know it works, and of course there is the hoopla of scientific data out there supporting it too.
So with that what is a great interval workout?
Even though I mentioned running above that does not mean you have to interval train with running, chose what you like from biking, hiking, swimming, stair step, you name it. If you try and choose an activity you do not like, then what is the chance that you will stay with it long enough to get results. Zero to none …
When you first start the workout start at an easy level to start to get your heart rate up but where you are not uncomfortable.
After 3 minutes increase to a moderate level (it should be around a 5-7 on a scale of 1-10). You will feel your heart beating faster and your breathing picking up, but you are still feeling good about yourself, and still able to carry a conversation with your partner (if you have one).
After an additional 3-5 minutes rev it up to a level 8-10, where you are sprinting or going at it as best you can. This is the part of the women's exercise interval workout that you want to stop …
But remember it is just for 1-2 minutes then you get to go back to that moderate level (5-7) for 2-3 minutes before picking back up again.
Keep going for a grand total of 20 minutes with this up and down intensity.
Remember not to exceed 20 minutes, there is no need this is all the time your body needs to give you heart healthy calorie burning benefits. After this time the body switches over its energy source from fat to protein (muscle).
And I know that there is no way you want to have your muscle stolen from you.
I find interval training to pass by much quicker than if I were just cruising at a nice 7 miles per hour. The change in pace keeps me from getting bored and I have a few great playlists just for my cardio workouts. This will burn more calories than your normal 45 minute jog and you will feel more energized and so proud of yourself!
I also recommend have a women's workout partner. This training is not a breeze and it helps to have someone going through the same routine with you to keep you motivated through. I think staying at one pace is often the easiest choice for women and having someone with you keeps you from choosing the easiest way out.
So now is the time to get out there and get your heart pumping.
If you have hills where you live I promote hill interviews for an even more heart pumping workout.