Move It A Little More With Intervals
If we’re seeking that famous 3,500 calorie a week deficit, the healthiest way to get there is to lower our calories while increasing our activity.
This prevents us from feeling like we’re starving plus we retain that ever-so-important muscle tissue that we can lose when we diet without exercising. One way to increase your calorie burn is to do what you’re doing now but for longer.
If you typically walk for 30 minutes 4 times a week, increase that to 30 minutes 5 times a week or 45 minutes 3 times a week. There will be additional calorie burn although maybe not as much as you’d like.
A better way is to add bursts of high intensity intervals to your workout and make sure some of those bursts include strength training. There are a variety of ways to do this – you might need to experiment a little to find out which one works best for you.
Higher Intensity Intervals Increase Calorie Expenditure
Let’s say, for example, you go out for your 30 minute walk. Take a stop watch and every two minutes, increase your walking speed; two minutes of walking followed by two minutes of speed walking. You can apply the same principle if you are jogging, biking, swimming, etc. Adding those short, fast bursts will get you to a higher calorie burn than steady-state cardio workouts will.
After you’ve worked your way up to the two minute speed intervals you can begin to add strength exercises to your program. Walking lunges, squats, push-ups, and ab crunches can all be incorporated in an interval program.
Walking lunges slow the workout down but utilize the large muscles in the legs and hips in a different way that requires more fuel than just regular walking. Adding forward lunges, reverse lunges, knees-up, push-ups and ab-crunches to a walking routine can spice it up, and get you up to the calorie deficit you need to lose that pound a week.
Here’s an example of an interval walking workout that takes approximately 30 minutes.
- 3 minute warm-up either walking or marching in place swinging arms to create flow and movement
- 2 minutes of walking at regular pace
- 2 minutes of speed walking
- Repeat three times(total time 12 minutes)
- 2 minutes of walking at a regular pace
- 2 minutes of speed walking
- 1 minute of stepping lunges (moving forward)
- 1 minute of reverse lunges (standing in place)
- Repeat two times (total time 12 minutes)
- 1 minute of regular walking
- 1 minute of speed walking
- 1 minute of stepping lunges
- 1 minute of reverse lunges
- 12 push-ups
- 24 abdominal crunches
- (Total time 6 minutes) Repeat if you have time
*Stepping lunges – take large, long steps moving forward so that your knee drops down towards the ground being careful not to push the front knee out over the toe.
*Reverse lunges – stand in one place, feet side by side; alternatie dropping one leg back to a lunge position, then return to starting position. Repeat with the other leg. Alternate for at least 12 repetitions.
*Push-ups can be modified to be done with the knees on the floor, with both hands on the floor or on the wall.
*For additional variety, add bursts of jump roping to your walking or jogging routine in place of the speed intervals.