Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Running in Intervals-The Best Way to Lose Weight

I hope you enjoy this guest post as I am out in Park City, UT working with some bobsledders.

This article is written by Kat Sanders, who regularly blogs on the topic of how to become a radiology technician at her blog The Overwhelmed Student Blog. She welcomes your comments and questions at her email address: katsanders25@gmail.com.

I’ve always been on the bigger side – large bones, tall body, and long legs. And although it’s nice to be tall and be blessed with legs that don’t seem to end, the problem arises when you put on weight – you start to look like a fierce Amazon rather than a seductive woman. So as I grew older, although I remained active playing tennis five days a week, it became more of a problem to keep my weight down. Until the day I took to jogging, that is.

A friend invited me to the gym to keep her company every morning as she tried to lose all the weight she’d gained during her pregnancy. It took me just one day to discover that I found it claustrophobic and longed to get out into the fresh air. And since I liked the treadmill the best, I decided to take to jogging. And take to it I did, like a fish takes to water. I found myself looking forward to waking up every morning and hitting the track around the park, breathing in the fresh, clean air and feeling the light breeze on my face.

I soon found myself setting challenges, trying to see how fast I could run one day or how long I could run the next. In conversation with a student from the local college, I learned about interval training, the kind that gets your heart racing and ups your fitness and endurance levels. And so I began to sprint as fast as I could for one round, and then walk for half. I alternated between walking and running, waiting to almost catch my breath when walking and then taking off into a sprint again. My observations:

• I found that I could run faster and over a longer distance in a shorter period of time.
• In just 10 days, I found that I had lost more than 5 pounds.
• My abdomen, which was always a little flabby, was more flat now.
• My legs and thighs were stronger
• I had more stamina during my tennis games
• I could run for longer periods of time during the interval training

If running was good, interval training was better, and losing all that weight was the best feeling ever.
If you’re new to exercise, you do need to exercise caution before you take on a high intensity workout like interval training. Start by alternating between jogging and walking before you continue on to running after a couple of weeks when your body is stronger and fitter. And also remember that you need to give your body adequate time to rest and recuperate; so it’s best to workout at high intensities only twice or thrice a week.

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