As I shared not long ago in post about postpartum weight loss, I am sloooowly trying to lose my baby weight. Eating a healthy diet is a critical part of this, but just as important is exercise. Exercising regularly and challenging your body will quicken the process, for sure.
On a good day, I try to do 20-30 minutes of cardio, and 20-30 minutes of weight/resistance training. For my cardio, I will hit the treadmill or the elliptical. I’m not a great runner, but I’ve had seasons of life where I jogged a lot, and I somehow managed to complete 2 half marathons. Really, though, running is not my favorite thing to do, and I find that it’s very hard on my joints and knees. I don’t think I’m cut out for it. During this season of life with a new baby, 2 little girls and busy evenings, I’m not making it to the gym very often. So when I do make it, I have to maximize the time.
I tend to get bored quickly if my workout isn’t interesting. I can’t stand to be on one machine for 30 minutes. I spend the entire time watching the clock and hating it.
For this reason SPRINTS appeal to me. It keeps things interesting and makes the time FLY by! I can also get more accomplished in far less time – yes, please! Sprints are essentially a form of HIIT…the fitness buzz word these days, which stands for High-Intensity Interval Training.
Why sprints are the most effective and FASTEST way to burn fat:
- The “Afterburn” effect. Intense sprinting kicks the body’s metabolism into high gear, helping you burn off fat as long as 24-48 hours after your workout.
- Working in cycles like this makes the time fly by.
- Sprints are a time saver. You burn far more calories/fat in 15 minutes than you would in 30-45 minutes of walking.
How to do sprints:
- First, warm up (walk) for five minutes. Then, bump up the speed and run as fast as you can for between 15-60 seconds (depending on your fitness level. I sprint for about 45-60 seconds at 8 mph. I have short legs, so 8 mph makes my legs feel like they’ll fall off if I go any faster! Not to mention my heart rate is way up at that point. Your endurance will increase over time – start somewhere reasonable.)
- Bring the speed back down to a slow jog or brisk walk for your “rest period”. (I walk. I’m very ready to catch my breath at this point!) My rest period is usually double the length of my sprint period. So, I walk for about a minute and a half. Longer if I need it.
- Bump the speed up again and sprint!! Repeat this cycle for 20-30 minutes.
Don’t just take my word for it. The following 3 brief articles by leading fitness sources clearly outline the benefits of sprinting. Check them out:
Challenge your body from your normal exercise routine and it WILL respond! Promise!