Experts recommend challenging your body with new forms of exercise to keep it from hitting a plateau. Here are a few fitness regimes that do just that with the promise of more energy and greater fat loss, while giving you a whole range of health benefits. So ready yourself for a fitter you.A trend that’s only growing with time, High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is short bursts of really intense activity followed by a few seconds of recovery, also known as speed interval training. HIIT engages every muscle of your body to fire up calorie burn. In latest findings, Michael Mosley, a British medical journalist, recently suggested that it is possible to improve fitness with just three minutes of high intensity interval training. He followed a HIIT routine that involved high-speed spinning for 20 seconds three times, taking a few seconds in between to catch his breath. After doing this three times a week for four weeks, his insulin sensitivity improved by 24%. Keep in mind: do 20 seconds of high intensity bouts followed by 10 seconds of recovery for not more than 20 minutes during your fitness regimen.
Try group workouts like Bootcamp and Tabata. Both are based on cardio exercises and strength training.
Bootcamp is a military inspired circuit workout. These workouts pack a powerful punch and burn serious calories. Practiced in groups, bootcamps are based on three fundamentals of training: cardio, strength and agility. You can play around with the structure. This form of workout is more intense than traditional gym workouts – pushing your limits like military training. Go for it if you like to push yourself harder. And don’t worry, you’ll have plenty of company to make it fun and keep the motivation levels high. In a typical workout, you start with one minute of upper body exercise like a push-up, recover and then go on to one minute of lower body exercise like a lunge.
Tabata was originally used by the Japanese Olympic speed skating team and named after scientist Izumi Tabata, who designed the workout. This is a four minute high intensity workout that helps gain muscle definition and burn calories. But its not possible for everyone to sprint the way the skating team did, and may take longer than just 4minutes to burn calories. So fitness trainers have built in Tabata training into regular fitness regimes to create a longer, full body workout for greater calorie burn and functional fitness. This is also a group workout.
- Start slow and figure out what level you want to maintain. Ideally you should work at 85-90 %of your maximum heart rate (MHR). To make your heart strong enough to bear the strains, you have to progress with caution.
It’s important to learn the right moves to prevent injuries, say experts. If you have old injuries, discuss with your trainer. In group workouts, it’s easy to get carried away. So listen to your body and move up progressively. If your body says no, stop.
Regular aerobic exercise improves longevity. Using large muscle groups over longer periods of time, they help get your heart rate up, increase blood circulation, boost immunity, control blood sugar and burn excess fat. And latest research says that vigorous cardio exercises can rev up metabolism for hours.
Talk Yourself Fit
Say the right words (or get your buddy or trainer to cheer you to pump yourself for a workout). A positive affirmation can enhance the effort of your muscles during exercise. Your brain stores ‘representations’ of actions that can be triggered ahead of time simply by thinking about executing those movements. By hearing or thinking about action words in positive terms, you’re essentially powering up the part of your brain that controls muscle movement. Just two minutes of exercise is enough to change your mood, as long as you raise your heart rate. Set weekly and daily goals, learn to say no and build flexibility. So do your best but don’t beat yourself up if it doesn’t work out well. Instead learn from it and incorporate the learning into your next week’s plan.
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