I have previously discussed performing aerobic exercises to improve cardiovascular health and to lose weight. We are familiar with the more traditional forms of aerobic exercises which include running, walking and swimming to name a few. The problem with these exercises is the time factor. All of them take time, and often this is not a possibility as we all work, spend time with our families, and so forth. There is a technique, however, that will allow you to perform aerobic exercises in the shortest amount of time and still lose weight and improve your cardiovascular condition.
One of these is the four minute cardiovascular workout. This was originally pioneered by a Japanese trainer named Tabata. He took college students and exercised them for a total of four minutes. The students would perform a total of 7-8 sets of 20 second workouts until four minutes had elapsed. To improve the results, the four minute workouts can be repeated one after the other as long as you rest no more than 10 seconds between four minute intervals. You can pick any two exercises that appeal to you and alternate them every 20 seconds. For example, you can pick stationary biking, and jumping jacks or situps and pushups or running and swimming. As long as you are accelerating your heart rate for those 20 seconds, the routine will work for you.
An alternative to the four minute workout is the Peak Fitness which is a seven minute workout. In this situation, you perform eight sets of 30 second sprints with a 90 second recovery in between. The elliptical machine and the recumbent bicycle have been used for this exercise, but you do not need to use any exercise equipment. You can use your own body weight and the outdoors to achieve the same results.
Other types of exercise which meet the aerobic requirements for these short bursts are wall sits, step-ups (step on and off a chair or platform), squats, planks (front or side), and lunges.
There is also a variation on the seven minute exercise where you exercise for 30 seconds, but only rest for 10-15 seconds between sets. Of course, this routine lasts for seven minutes.
The underlying theme of these exercises is accelerating the heart rate as much as possible, and fatiguing the body as quickly as possible so that the time spent exercising is minimal.
In addition to the usual benefits of exercise such as losing weight, improving diabetes and hypertension, and improving cardiovascular health, these exercise bursts have the added benefit of increasing human growth hormone (HGH). HGH has been referred to as the youth hormone.
Remember that an appropriate diet is an essential part of your exercise routine. You don’t have to deprive yourself of good food. Just eat wisely.
Prior to engaging in any form of exercise, please get clearance from your physician. Wishing you success in fitness and weight loss and maintenance. Pablo