Friday, January 7, 2011

Interval Training Times Two

Like most people out there, a New Year means setting up resolutions (that most of us end up struggling to keep) and like most other years, working more regular exercise into my day is right at the top of the list. I've taken a different approach this year, though, one that follows a similar pattern to my writing--Interval Training.

They say (they meaning a number of bloggers, health writers and fitness experts) that Interval Training is a more efficient way to burn fat/lose weight with the added bonus of giving your heart one hell of a workout. It's pretty simple really, instead of say jogging for 45 mins every day, you jog for just 20, but instead of running at a steady rate the whole time (which your body apparently adapts to and may lead to the plateau effect with weight loss) you mix things up. You jog regularly for a couple minutes, then for the next minute you sprint, then slow back down for another few minutes, until you've caught your breath, then sprint for another minute, repeating the intervals until the end of your twenty minutes.

The awesome thing about cardio (especially using interval training) is that not only does your body have to be always adjusting and not adapting when it comes to calorie burning, your body will continue to burn calories better for hours after the workout.

I find writing works the same for me. Sure, I try to have a steady daily word count, but my muse seems most inspired when I go from writing 1000 words a day to having two or three day sprints of 2000-3000 words before slowing down again. It even works in smaller chunks when I get my timer out and really turn off that internal editor and do a writing sprint.

I'm hoping that making this connection between exercise and my writing approach will make it slightly easier to stick with in the long run. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

So how about you, what different approach are you taking to exercise this year? Anything that failed miserably in the past that you've learned from? Anything you've found that works really well for you?

And as an added bonus, I'll draw a winner from one of the comments left today for an ebook of Trust Me, my latest release.

*** Contest is now closed. Congrats to Zina whose name was drawn via the awesome Thanks for playing everyone!


Cara Bristol said...

Now I know why I stopped in the middle of revising my WIP to check the blogs...I'm interval training! LOL.

Seriously, excercise for me has to be's too easy to avoid otherwise. Writing is semi-disciplined. I do tend to write in spurts.

Skylar Kade said...

I canceled my gym membership last year. Now that I'm healthy enough to start exercising again (more than short walks) I'm doing yoga and tai chi DVDs. I can go at my own pace and can wear raggedy sweats. The only problem is finding the self-control to do it often.

I like the comparison between interval training and writing--it exactly describes my word counts, too.

D. F. Krieger said...

My dogs knocked on my bedroom door yesterday with leash in mouth and said "Hello, Mom, remember us? You used to take us on daily walks. Now we know with that snow at Christmas time, walking wasn't an option really. But c'mon, Mom, it's 60 degrees outside today. We miss you."

So I've resolved I'm going to take my dogs for their mile and a half walk at least three times (if not the whole seven) a week now. It's good for them and GREAT for me.

flchen1 said...

Hmm... I do agree that the smaller/shorter chunks of exercise work better for me (easier to stomach? ;)) Taking a class also helps for me--something that I've paid for, I'm slightly more loathe to blow off. And yes, something I at least kind of like is easier (for me, that's dance--I can't stand running...) Or walking with someone--having someone to chat with makes the time go far faster :) No dogs, but I'll bet DF's method works great, too! Happy family!

mamasand2 said...

Very interesting info in the interval training, Sydney. I may try that out once the snow is gone.

Please don't enter me for the contest since I already have your "Trust Me" and am hunting for reading time. Maybe now that the holidays are over I'll find it.


Cindy L said...

I tried Zumba for the first time yesterday and loved it, except for the fact that my friend and I were the youngest ones in the class! I've been eating smaller portions and when I crave a cookie I only eat one or two and not the whole bag. This has worked for me, since I lost weight during the Holidays instead of gaining. I'm not a fan of exercising, but I love the classes at the gym and I go with friends for motivation. That is definitely key. When I feel like sleeping in, I think about my friend waiting at the gym for me and I force myself out of bed. Definitely don't want a muffin top for summer!

Jen B. said...

A couple of years ago I was exercising 4 or 5 days a week. I used the eliptical and weights. Then I got sick and kind of fell out of practice. For the past few months I have struggled to get a routine going because of family issues. So, for the new year I am setting up all of my random bits of equipment and a couple of new pieces of equipment in my basement and I will use them at least twice a week to get back in shape. Good luck with your interval training!

Lynne Roberts said...

I love the comparison between writing and exercizing. It's so accurate, at least for me.

Sometimes I'm sprinting, sometimes I seem to be crawling along. : )

My plan for excercize this year is to just do it. I run/walk on the treadmil 20 minutes a day, every day.

Kelly Jamieson said...

Oooh you've inspired me, both on the treadmill and the computer! Going to do some interval running this weekend. And yeah, I kind of do do writing "sprints".

Also don't enter me in contest as I already read Trust Me (and loved it!)

kittykelly28 said...

well I'm trying to lose some weight before RT in April :) I wanna feel sexy in my cute outfits and my new thigh high boots! :) I bought the Zumba DVDs and now that I think about it they do the interval thing thereis a lot of speed up slow down stuff goin on there! :) Hopefully I can drop at least a little of this weight ;)

kittykelly28 @

Zina said...

My bigest thing would be to continue it past the first week. Plus I have bad knees so I have to be careful because I never know if something will pop my knee out and I'll fall on my a**. Even swimming is hard if I kick my leg at the wrong angle.

*yadkny* said...

I actually plan to incorporate more excercise this year to my diet plan. I've been drinking alot more water since last year and putting these weightloss drink packets in the bottles every morning before I eat anything and they work!!! I was really skeptical but I've lost at least 25 lbs. just drinking these packets without excerise. Now imagine what I can accomplish if I actually work at losing weight?:)

Kirsten C. said...

I started with a personal trainer in Oct. That was my last resort to losing some pounds. She has me do interval cardio on my treadmill as well-we must be on the right track! It has worked amazing for me so far! Hope you get great results as well!

Sydney Somers said...

Thanks to everyone who commented and shared their thoughts on getting in shape. Just reading them over is really motivating. :)

And congrats to Zina, whose name was drawn via