Fitness Plan: Interval Training

Are you getting tired of your exercise routine? Maybe it’s time to shake things up with interval training — a workout approach that alternates bursts of intense activity with intervals of lighter activity or rest.

An interval workout can be a great way to burn more calories per minute, improve your fitness level, and keep exercise interesting. Historically, interval training has been associated with cardiovascular exercise, but it is also a helpful tool in breaking through a barrier with strength training.

Creating an interval workout is easier than you think, and you can adapt it to any fitness level by varying the duration and speed of each interval. Another advantage of interval training is that you can have a great workout with little to no equipment.

Check out our “Move for Health” download to see how you can integrate interval training into your weekly workout schedule. Now, let’s get started with the workouts below!

 

Complete 2-4 sets, 8-12 reps each:

  1. Pushups (not shown in video above)
  2. Burpees
  3. Jump and Reach
  4. Speed Skaters
  5. Alligator Planks

Hydrating for Health

We’ve all heard the general recommendation to drink 8 cups of water daily; however, your fluid needs vary based on your health, climate, activity level and other factors. (Keep in mind that water is just one type of fluid.) According to the Institute of Medicine, adequate daily intake of fluid is approximately 13 cups (3 liters) for men and 9 cups (2.2 liters) for women, if you’re an “average, healthy adult” living in a temperate climate.

Water is necessary for your survival, making up the largest percentage of your body weight. Water helps to flush toxins from your body, carries nutrients to cells, and provides a healthy environment for your body tissues to assist in immune function.

We lose water each day in a variety of ways. When the amount of water lost exceeds the amount you consume, dehydration occurs. Symptoms of dehydration include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Increased thirst
  • Dark colored urine
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue

If you are very active and engage in long-duration exercise in which you perspire heavily, you should replenish your water losses. A rule of thumb is that for every pound of weight lost during an exercise session, replenish 16 ounces of water/fluid.

You may also hear about electrolytes in conjunction with dehydration. Electrolytes are minerals in your blood and body fluids that carry an electric charge. Electrolyte balance is vital for maintaining blood pH, muscle action, and other body processes. Electrolytes like sodium, calcium, potassium, chlorine, magnesium and bicarbonate can be found in many sports drinks; however, they are not the only way you can replenish your stores.

Download this month’s recipes and grocery list to get some tasty foods and drinks that can help you stay hydrated and replenish your electrolytes!

Recipes

Homemade Sports Drink

Hydrating Post-Workout Protein Smoothie

Sweet Potato, Chicken and Black Bean Soup

Minty Melon Fruit Salad

Tzatziki Sauce