HIIT (high intensity interval training) is definitely one of my favourite types of training. It is a sequence of short intense anaerobic and less intense recovery exercises. And best of all, it’s extremely effective! These intense exercises are alternated with the recovery periods to create a rather successful fat-burning combination.
VIGOROUS sessions are loosely based on a HIIT format but a more textbook example would be Tabata Training.
Tabata is 20 seconds of intense exercise with a 10 second rest period. This sequence is repeated 8 times for a total of 4 minutes. You can do as many Tabatas as you want to make a workout. It may sound pretty easy in theory, but a 10 second rest feels a lot shorter when you are actually doing it!
There is a stack of reasons why HIIT is good for you! But so that you don’t get bored, I’ll just mention a few below:
HIIT conditions both your anaerobic and aerobic energy systems
HIIT increases the amount of calories you burn in your session as well as after because it increases the amount of time your body needs to recover
If you are short on time you can get a super effective workout in just 20 minutes
You can do it anywhere with no equipment! You just need yourself and some decent willpower to give it your all!
Any activity that uses large muscle groups, can be maintained continuously, and is rhythmic in nature. It is also defined as exercise that increases the need for oxygen. Some examples of aerobic exercise include: walking, jogging, boxing, dancing, rollerblading, bicycling, swimming, aerobics classes, rowing, stair climbing, etc.
What are the Benefits of Aerobic Exercise?
Aerobic exercise strengthens your heart and lungs. During exercise, your muscles demand more oxygen-rich blood and give off more carbon dioxide and other waste products. As a result, your heart has to beat faster to keep up. When you follow a consistent aerobic exercise plan, your heart grows stronger so it can meet the muscles’ demands without as much effort.
Everyone, regardless of his or her weight, age, or gender, can benefit from aerobic exercise.
Regular aerobic exercise improves health in the following ways:
Reduces body fat and improves weight control
Reduces resting blood pressure (systolic and diastolic)
Increases HDL (good) cholesterol
Decreases total cholesterol
Improves glucose tolerance and reduces insulin resistance
Decreases clinical symptoms of anxiety, tension and depression
Increases maximal oxygen consumption (VO2 max)
Improves heart and lung function
Increases blood supply to the muscles and
Enhances your muscles’ ability to use oxygen
Lowers resting heart rate
Increased threshold for muscle fatigue (lactic acid accumulation)
Eat before the airport. Try to eat a big, healthy meal before hitting the airport to avoid having to eat at the fast food courts. If you forget and need to eat there, try fruit or a salad.
Watch out for jet lag. Adjusting to a new time zone might make you hungry at odd hours. Resist the urge to snack at 4am and wait for normal meal times instead.
**Remember when flying long haul, it is important to stay well hydrated! So drink lots of water!**
Beware of buffets. With so many delicious choices, it can be hard. Always go for the lighter meal option or one that is similar to what you eat at home. Start by using a smaller plate; it’ll encourage smaller portions.
Visit food markets. They’re a great place to soak up local culture and eat delicious—and cheap—fresh food. Local food is better for the environment; you get to pick what you’re eating; and you’ll even squeeze in some movement as you walk around the market. Talk about a win-win-win.
Pack snacks. When you plan to be out all day, bring along your own healthy snacks to stave off hunger. It’ll keep money in your pocket and away from unhealthier options. Pack muesli bars, fruit, nuts or your own sandwich.
Make your own meals. If you’re staying somewhere with kitchen access, take the time to whip up your own delicious meals as much as often doing your stay. You’re more likely to eat something nutritious at home— and you’ll know exactly what’s in it.
Should we really be working for that day after burn?
We’ve all heard it, we’ve all said it, but is it what we really need? ‘No pain, no gain’ basically translated means if you aren’t ridiculously sore the day after your workout then you won’t see any results.
This is not necessarily the case. Just because you don’t feel sore, it doesn’t mean your workout was pointless and you will never get that hour of your life back. You should not base the success of your workout on your level of next-day soreness. Just as you shouldn’t base the quality of your workout on how much you sweated.
The fact is, while some muscle soreness can be normal—and even motivating for some—to date, there is a lack of scientific evidence effectively demonstrating that excessive soreness translates to better results.
Having said that, progressively overloading the body leads to improved fitness. Progressively overloading the body is also strongly linked to that next-day muscle soreness.
We must apply a greater challenge to the body in the form of different activity, heavier weights, increased intensity or mode of activity to experience long-term results. Keep in mind this must be done gradually and safely.
Overloading at an excessive rate and encouraging repeated muscle soreness can lead to overuse injuries which in turn can lead to you needing to take time off to heal.
Instead of striving for muscle soreness, rate your workout based on your short and long-term goals. Aim to do 2 more reps, check your measurements or try fitting into those old ‘skinny’ jeans.
If you’re constantly challenging yourself and setting the bar higher, if you’re enjoying your workout time and seeing results in yourself, you can rest assured your attitude to exercise is on the right track.
Low energy levels can lead to bad moods, fatigue, lack of motivation and in some serious cases, depression.
Energy is the strength and vitality required for sustained physical or mental activity.
Mark Twain once said “And what is a man without energy? Nothing – nothing at all.”
So here are some seriously easy, NATURAL ways to boost your energy levels!
POWER NAPS. Studies have found that 10 to 20 minutes is all that is needed to recharge and not throw off your night’s sleep
BREATHING. Solid, proper breathing is one of the most important ways to improve the energy level. Deep breathing for a few minutes each morning is a great way to boost your energy EATING. But it has to be healthy! Food is our body’s fuel. Just like your car, make sure you are using top-notch stuff, not the economy stuff.
WORK OUT. You might think it’s hard to workout when you have no energy, but (so long as your low energy levels aren’t sickness related) working out will boost your levels like you wouldn’t believe!
STRETCH. If you’re sitting at a desk all day, just moving around and having a stretch may be all you need!
SOCIALISE. Talking to someone or being social with friends is linked to feeling more awake and happy!
CHOCOLATE. Not so much you feel sick or even more sluggish, but just a few squares of dark chocolate (70% cocoa or more) can boost your mood almost instantly.
DRINK. Water. Water. Water. I can’t stress this enough. Even mild dehydration can cause sleepiness. So drink up!
Most of us have experienced trouble sleeping at one time or another. This is normal and usually temporary. But if sleep problems are a regular occurrence and interfere with your daily life, you may need to try some of these.
Keep track. Record how much and when you sleep, fatigue levels throughout the day, and any other symptoms. This serves two purposes: It can identify activities that help or hurt the chances of a good night’s rest, and it’s a useful tool for a doctor or therapist, should you decide to see one.
Try therapy. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia is a pretty common technique. Also called CBT-I, the therapy typically involves self-monitoring, mental strategies (like developing positive thoughts about sleep), and creating an environment that promotes sleep—and it’s been shown to improve sleep quality.
Establish a regular bedtime routine. Find activities that help you wind down before bed, and stick to the same sleep-wake schedule, even on weekends.
Use the bed appropriately. Bringing work into the bedroom is a sure-fire way to discourage sleep quality.
Choose the right mattress. Uncomfortable bedding has been linked to poorer sleep quality, while a comfortable mattress can up the chances of a satisfying snooze.
Don’t smoke. Need another reason to quit? Smokers commonly exhibit symptoms of insomnia—possibly because their bodies go into nicotine withdrawal during the night.
See a doctor. If you’ve tried everything and nothing’s worked, it might be time to consult a professional. A doctor can help rule out any sleep disorders and identify lifestyle factors or medications that might be getting in the way of a good night’s rest.