It turns out you don’t have to do long, arduous workouts to get into great shape. Recent studies have shown that short workouts with high intensity can help with your cardiovascular fitness as well as or even better that extended workouts.
So now you can just do a 20 minute workout three times a week and still see amazing results. The key is to have short bursts of high intensity cardio, mixed between periods of recovery. You can get these high intensity blasts from running, using elliptical machines, bicycling, or anything that will give you an aerobic workout.
Ironically, research has revealed that many marathon runners, who are considered to be some of the best conditioned athletes, have developed scar tissue on their hearts from excessive stress from running long distances. Now it seems less is better, as far as your health is concerned.
High intensity training for short periods has become more and more popular because you don’t need a lot of time to get in a good workout. People on tight schedules, or juggling business and family, can get heart healthy workouts whenever they have a free 20 minutes.
Your 20 minute workout starts with an easy warm-up for 5 minutes. Then you will do a 30 second high intensity burst, followed by 90 seconds of slowdown so you can recover and slow your heart rate down. You will do 4 to 8 of these intense bursts, depending on your fitness level.
If you are new to this type of workout, make sure you check with your doctor before starting the program. If you are not in very good condition, you will start out with only 3 or 4 intense bursts and slowly work your way up to 7 or 8 intense bursts for your total workout. After your last intense burst, you will have a cool down to get your heart rate back to your normal level.
Remember to not do too many high intensity workouts per week because your body won’t have the time to properly recover. Four workouts a week should be the maximum. Gauge how you feel and how long it takes to recover from each workout. You should notice an increased energy level and more stamina after you have done the workouts for several weeks.