If you know me, you know how I feel about the importance of moving our bodies. We’re built to move and when we don’t move well or often enough, our bodies break down. To assure that you’re working your body fully, it’s best to do a variety of different exercises. I like to do a combination of resistance training, yoga, cardio and some core training.
In the nice weather I do most of my exercise outside (biking, ultimate frisbee, hiking, kettlebells out in the sun) but in the colder months I spend more time in the gym. And while I really enjoy my warmer weather cardio, running on the treadmill in the gym during the winter months is not my favorite thing to do. Maybe you feel the same way.
To maximize your treadmill time - Do Interval Training
Interval training is simply alternating bursts of intense activity with intervals of lighter activity. To me, the best part of this kind of training is that I can get a great workout in a minimal amount of time. You can use the principles of interval training to run, bike, jump rope, dance…whatever you like to do.
CAUTION: Because you exert yourself intensely during interval training, you increase your risk of injury. So before taking this on, make sure to gradually work on your conditioning and flexibility until you’re ready. (Call me, Dr. Charno if you want to discuss). Consult your internist if you haven’t been active for a while, or if you have any concerns about your ability to exercise intensely.
Please call our Rhinebeck office to make an appointment if you have any questions or concerns.
Although the research is mixed regarding the exact timing for how to do this, you can use these instructions as a guide. As you get comfortable with it, make it your own by changing the timing and numbers of intervals while adhering to the general guidelines.
- Warm Up. 5 minutes of easy jogging or cycling.
- Run (or whatever cardio you’re doing) for 60 seconds at 85-90% of your all-out-effort max. 100% of your all-out-effort max would be how fast you would run if you were being chased by a very fast moving zombie. Your muscles should really start to fatigue after about a minute.
- Slow down to 60% of your max effort for 90 seconds.
- Repeat the previous two steps five more times.
- Finish by cooling down at 60% of your max.
Whatever you do JUST DO IT. (Hmmmm…that sounds like it could be a good slogan!) It’s a little harder to get enough exercise in the winter. You may have to do more in your house, brave the cold or join a gym but find a strategy that works for you. And try some interval training. You could start this coming spring in the best shape of your life!