BRIARCLIFF MANOR, N.Y. -- Kendra Ekelund is a member and guest blogger at Club Fit. She recently overcame a battle with cancer and is on her path to wellness. Hear about her exciting journey full of ups, downs, ins and outs in her blog "Superhero Transformation."
So, remember that time I said I hated running? I never, ever thought this photo (shown here) would happen. It’s still true that I do not enjoy extended running as general cardio exercise, but my trainer introduced me to interval workouts called Tabata training. They let me run for only four minutes, with frequent rests and still gets my heart rate up to where it needs to be.
Jenn explained to me that the varying intervals of activity and rest make your heart work harder, and boost your heart rate faster. I run for twenty seconds, then rest for ten seconds and repeat these cycles until I’ve finished four minutes – and by then, I am wiped out.
This is perfect for me, because twenty seconds seems to be my exact tolerance for running on a treadmill. I can even use these Tabata intervals during strength training workouts to keep my heart rate up, and accomplish cardio and strength work at the same time. Intervals also create “afterburn” which boosts your metabolic rate for a period of time after you finish working out. Talk about efficiency.
The best part about these workouts is that I really can feel a measurable increase in my cardiovascular endurance. I can tell that they’re working because each week it gets a little easier (or should I say, I get better?) It’s a great reminder that my body is totally capable of performing whatever I train it to do – I just need to put the work in.