Just about everyone wants to improve their appearance, but hardly anyone has the time to devote to exercising enough to get that six pack stomach. Fortunately, there are ways to trim inches off your waistline by only working out for a few minutes a day. It's a method of healthy living that can fit in just about any lifestyle.
For many years, people who want to lose weight have been given fitness tips that say long stretches of cardiovascular exercise are the best way to shed pounds. Recent research in Greece, however, is suggesting that interval training might be a route to try for anyone looking for a way to improve their health without resorting to drastic changes in their diet.
The idea of interval training has been around for a while, but not everyone is familiar with what it is. Essentially, interval training is exercising in alternating short bursts of cardio and strength training. These bursts can be grouped together in one workout, or spread out throughout the day.
In the Greek experiment, researchers divided the study participants into two groups. All participants were required to do forty minutes of strength training four times a week. Then, the first group ran on treadmills for the remaining twenty minutes, while the second group did body-weight intervals. At the end of the two month study period, the group who did interval training lost two inches off their waist. The cardio group lost less than one inch.
The researchers believe that the higher levels of weight loss are due to the fact that interval training increases the afterburn effect. Essentially, as a person exercises their body's oxygen stores decrease. That means that a person's body has to continue working after they are done working out in order to replace the missing oxygen. Interval training creates a situation in which the body must continuously replace oxygen. As soon as the oxygen is replaced, a person exercises again and depletes the stores.
In order to get the same effect, it's important to design a workout routine that alternates between working out different muscle groups. We recommend trying as many possible reps of each exercise on this list in a minute:
- Leg kicks
- Arm curls
After each exercise, rest for thirty seconds, then jog for three minutes. At the end of the set of all four exercises, rest for one minute. Repeat the set at least three times a day.