Avoiding Interval overtraining

In today’s world of multi-tasking mayhem, concentration is something of a luxury. And when it comes to exercise, one of the reasons the fitness world has begun to despise aerobic exercise is that boredom sets in during long walks or jogs on the treadmill. Aside from the numerous studies which have shown that interval training is superior for fatloss, this form of exercise is simply more time efficient during the course of a busy week.

But take away our complicated lives and schedules and aerobic exercise may be more valuable than we realise. Keeping in mind, “fatloss” is only one of a number of benefits we enjoy from being active, here are few reasons to choose aerobics over intervals (at least once in a while):

1. Stimulant medications: After training numerous clients on stimulant medication, I have found that prolonged intervals (30+ seconds) actually can lead to abnormal breathing and fear of fainting. Because stimulant medications– such as adderall and ritalin– can cause an already elevated heart rate, the concept of maximally elevating heart to burn calories may, at a glance, be unncessary. The benefit of this heart racing affect is that simple steady state aerobic exercise (treadmill walk or run) is rendered far more effective at burning calories without increased exertion.

2. Prolonged soreness: While a little soreness may be an indication that a good workout hurts– so does unneccesary repetition. This means several days of high intensity jumping, sprinting or squat thrusts (god forbid) can leave your muscles screaming for relief. Because aerobic exercise improves blood flow and circulation to the muscles, a 25-30 minute walk or jog is the perfect compliment to stretching to reduce soreness.

3. Interval plateaus: One physical certainty is that our bodies adapt to even the most grueling forms of exercise (see burpees) . This means that while intervals may still cause you to work up a sweat, your body becomes better adapted with each workout. With this in mind, pace tempo running (treadmill, elliptical, outside)– or moving as quickly as you can– for around 1 mile improves your body’s work capacity in similar style to interval training through a different stimulus. Alternating several weeks of interval training with a week of pace-tempo running or a 12-15 minute pace tempo run once per week is a great way to shock the body in to fatloss submission.

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