If you wish to enjoy the known benefits of exercise including better blood sugar control and the loss of weight, what you are aiming for is a healthy level of fitness. The hardest part about physical activity is maintaining consistency. It is easy to get yourself to workout now and then but keeping up a routine is a noticeable step up in difficulty.
If you have done well in this regard, give yourself some credit. What you have achieved is not an easy feat. Now you are active; you may be wondering about the next step. It is likely time to intensify your workouts.
Are you ready for this challenge?
Why intensify your workouts? First, let us briefly talk about why you should be ramping up your intensity because you may still not be sold on the idea. To increase the power does not mean you have to …
- aspire to sprint on a track,
- run a race, or take
- your rowing exercise from the gym to the outdoors.
All it means is you should work a little bit harder. So, increase your tempo, and challenge yourself a bit more.
The benefits are numerous. Increased fitness is first on the list because the best way to stimulate change in this area is to shock your body with something unexpected – within means, of course. Increasing your intensity is the best and healthiest way to do this.
Next comes increased efficiency. In a way, you could accomplish the same feat by cycling at a moderately high intensity for 20-minutes as you could by walking for 40-minutes. There is nothing wrong with the latter, but it does say you should be looking for ways to improve your efficiency. Either aim for less time spent, or more done with that time. If you like your 30 to 40-minute walks, for instance, all you have to do is walk a little bit faster. It will make a difference.
How to intensify your workouts. Walking faster is one way, and the same can be done for just about any type of exercise. There is usually a quicker or harder way to push yourself. But don't go crazy. You do not want to injure or burn yourself out needlessly …
- with resistance training, you have more options to play with. You can increase the number of sets and reps you do in a given time by decreasing your rest periods.
- you can superset your exercises.
It pays to try different routines to elevate your intensity.
You are doing some form of resistance training, right? If not, you are missing out. As beneficial as cardio is for weight loss and overall well-being, resistance training should not be overlooked. Arguably, it provides more long-term health benefits than cardio itself.
If there is one takeaway point, it is increasing your intensity does not mean you have to raise your volume which means you can still workout three or four times a week. Remember: part of the focus is on efficiency.
As exercise becomes further ingrained into your lifestyle, you will find emphasizing intensity over volume is the best strategy for maximizing your efforts.