Weight Loss Myth #4

YOU GET BETTER RESULTS BY LONGER EXERCISE SESSIONS

If you do the math, running for an hour will burn a lot of calories and help you lose weight.  But you might actually see improvements in your fitness and decreases in your body fat if you break your workout into two or three shorter sessions. Think about it – do you have more energy to run earlier in your run or later on? You may start off with a “bang”, but likely slow your pace towards the end as your energy level starts to plummet. Instead, cut your run to 20 minutes, and you will likely work at a harder pace and a higher intensity for the duration of the run.  So try a 20 to 30 minute run in the morning, where you really push the pace and intensity, and either a second run, a spin class, lap swimming, or a weight training session in the later part of the day. Not only will you be able to give more energy to each exercise session, but you will burn more calories postworkout (two postworkout burns), which leads to more success with managing your weight.

For example, a 145-pound woman running 7 mph will burn approximately 676 calories in an hour run – if she runs at 7 mph the whole time. Not bad.

The same 145-pound woman who runs 8.5 mph for 30 minutes will burn 410 calories. Do that twice a day, and your total calorie burn is 820 – more than the 676 for a slower 1 hour run. And you get two postworkout increases in your metabolism!

Other advantages to same-day split sessions include helping you if you are crunched for time,  preventing boredom with your workout, and decreasing your risk of overtraining injuries. Check out the following suggestions and pick two of them each day – do one in the morning and then another in the afternoon:

  • 30 minutes steady-pace, moderate-intensity run
  • 30 minute spin class
  • 1 hour yoga class
  • 20 minute intervals on the elliptical, treadmill, bike, or outdoors
  • 20 minutes hill running
  • 30 minutes circuit (weight) training, with little rest between sets
  • 30 minutes lap swim
  • 1 hour pilates class
  • 30 minutes rollerblading (great leg toner!)

Another thing to keep in mind with your workouts is to constantly change them up. If you do the same workout, day in and day out, your body becomes more conditioned at that specific exercise and consequently, burns less calories. When you give your body new and different workouts, your body responds by burning more calories as it tries to keep up with the challenges laid out. As a result, you get better results. So try out something new today. Give it a month and you’ll see a little more wiggle room in your favorite jeans!

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