Amidst current health concerns, it's a good idea to skip the public gym equipment right now. However keeping active is vital for both our physical and mental health, as well as keeping our immune system strong.
So, how do you get a good workout at home and skip the crowded group fitness classes? We've got a great interval and circuit training program you can do from home.
Interval training is a popular form of exercise utilised by many in the health and fitness industry. This style of exercise is a great way to keep fit and healthy with smaller sessions of exercise, or to reinvigorate your exercise routine.
This form of workout alternates between periods of higher intensity exercise with short periods of rest or low intensity exercise. There are several benefits to this style of training. Interval training can maximise energy burnt and fitness benefits achieved in a shorter amount of time compared to your classic steady state cardio exercise. This is due to the breaking up of exercise bouts with short rests so you can continue to perform at a higher intensity throughout your session, whereas maintaining a high intensity for the whole of a steady-state-cardio session would not be sustainable. Due to the higher intensities achieved, you will also have a greater metabolic affect – due to the higher energy demands placed on your muscles, your body is unable to supply them with adequate oxygen. This means that you accumulate an oxygen deficit, which causes your body to burn extra energy for several hours after the workout. Another benefit of IT is that you can gain both cardiorespiratory AND strength/power fitness benefits from the same workout. It can also be a great alternative or accompaniment to your regular exercise to keep things interesting and develop different types of fitness.
To maximise benefits from interval training you must have a good base of fitness/strength to work off. If you are just starting an exercise routine or beginning a weight loss journey it is better to build up your fitness and exercise routine before starting IT. A good “engine” takes time to build, so if you are quite sedentary then start off with more moderate intensity cardio (e.g. brisk walking) and some classic strength training (controlled actions with longer rest breaks) to lay down the neural pathways required to perform more powerful functional movements without risk of injury or at a high enough intensity to maximise benefits.
When creating interval workouts focus on including difficult movements that challenge your entire body in a single exercise. Aim to include at least two exercises back to back before allowing your body to recover. Catch your breath in between rounds but don’t allow yourself to recover fully before attacking the next set.
Below is an interval training session developed to both increase functional strength and cardiorespiratory fitness.
Skipping/Star jumps/ jogging on spot (30 seconds on 15secs off) Repeat 3 times.
ROUND 1 (repeat twice (20 second break between repeat AND next ROUND))
ROUND 2 (repeat twice (20 second break between repeat and next ROUND))
ROUND 3 (repeat twice (20 second break between repeat))
Circuit exercises are a perfect way to achieve high intensity workouts in a short amount of time. Here’s a few you can get done on a balmy night in your own backyard.
Complete the below exercises as a circuit: complete 1 set of each exercise then move onto the next one straight away. After you have completed 1 set of each exercise then have a 30-180sec break depending on your current level of fitness (increased fitness means less time for a break). Complete the circuit 3 times.
The ideal setting for these exercises is something with a strong foundation but not too far off the ground, such as a kids sandpit. The height is important because leaping too high may cause damage to your knees.
All you need for this is a sturdy outdoor lounge or similar seat.
You should be able to feel this one in the upper/back section of your arms.
Put the fun back in aerobic exercise with an adult-friendly trampoline.
Always check with your Doctor before commencing a new exercise regime and discuss the possible risks and benefits. This can be managed in coordination with an Exercise Physiologist or other health professional.
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