August 10

Fat burning intervals anyone can do (including beginners)


I like to think I’m up on the latest technology, but every once in awhile I’ll say something that makes people think I’ve been frozen since the beginning of time and have only thawed out since a week ago.       

For example, we don’t have Netflix or even HBO.

I also still use a landline and a desktop computer, have never seen Sharknado and couldn’t name a single character in Game of Thrones or a Pokemon Go monster if my life depended on  it.

And no, I don’t bring my clothes down to the river and pound them clean on a rock or have to trek to a wooden outdoor structure in a neighboring field to use the restroom.

So it’s not as bad as it sounds.

Still, why the archaic lifestyle, you ask?

It goes back to my lack of interest in anything that doesn’t move my life forward (see this prior post about my 60k+ inbox).

I don’t watch much TV in general, so I have no clue about The Walking Dead and never knew what happened at the end of The Sopranos that had everyone is such a huff.

I’m not saying my approach is better or worse than anyone else’s, but I feel life is stressful enough without worrying about a zombie apocalypse or whether or not I’m on a Mafia hit list.

In addition, the very act of watching TV makes me worry I’ve forgotten to do something.

My prevailing thought during adult diaper commercials is, “Isn’t there something else more productive I could be doing?” Usually, the answer inside my head is a resounding, “Heck yeah.”

Like my choice in TV programming, I also like to keep things simple when it involves exercise. I don’t need frills and thrills.

Thing is, I started working out at age 21, circa 1980. (Yikes! Excuse me while I recover from that alarming math equation.)

FitBit wasn’t around, posting your workout on Facebook didn’t exist yet, and gym selfies weren’t yet boring people in 15 different languages.

In short, those were the good old days.

Now, we measure and track everything and upload it to our computers,Tweet out every workout, and walk around our beds 50 times a night to reach our step goals for the day.

Surprisingly, 99% of women polled prefer this to working out

In other words: We took something simple (burning calories) and made it complicated enough to give lazy people an excuse to never do it.

In the end, it’s about calories in and calories out.

You can track, record, Tweet and Instagram until you’re blue in the face, but if you’re not burning more calories than you’re taking in, all the Tweeting in the world won’t help you.

This fact is why I am such a proponent of intervals.

Alternating fast and slow bouts of effort have been shown to kick up calorie burning for long after you’re finished working out.

Called EPOC, for “excess post-exercise oxygen consumption,” it refers to the way your body continues to burn calories after you’re done exercising.

How many more calories and for how long depend on the intensity of your workout and how long you exercise.

Regardless, adding a day or two of intervals weekly can bump up calorie burning and help you see results more quickly than long, drawn out *yawn* treadmill walks for hours on end after which you vow to wear a circus tent for a dress before you’ll do another workout.

I don’t blame you.

Problem is, it can be hard to do intervals after age 50. Everything hurts: knees, hips, lower back.

If this sounds like you, I send you a virtual 80s-version high-five. Arthritis in both knees makes working out less than a joy some days for me.

But fear not! You are not destined to remain interval-free for life. You just need a slightly different approach, one that eases you into a harder intensity rather than having you jump in with both feet.

I found a different type of interval training created by Danish researchers (and clearly, they know their pastries, so it must be legit) that works for anyone of any fitness level.

Instead of the traditional heavy/easy two-pronged intervals, this three phase plan training helps you get up to speed gradually…

Use cardio of your choice, be it walking, running, rowing, biking, or elliptical trainer:

Warm-up: 5 minutes easy pace, cardio of your choice, then:

1. 30 seconds easy pace

2. 20 seconds moderately hard pace

3. 10 seconds as fast as you can go (adjust according to your fitness level)

4. Repeat FIVE or more times without stopping (fewer if you’re a newbie)

5. Cool down by walking around for two minutes and stretch

This entire routine takes only 12 minutes, making it great for time-crunched days. You can add one or two more rounds if you’re up for more of a challenge, superhero.

I’d love if you’d try this workout and let me know what you think in the comments section below…

And please share this with your ageless peeps. They’ll love you for it.

Other posts you may also like:

7 ways to burn more calories walking

3 Ways to create routines that get results

5 Best Exercises for Women Over 50

P.S. Stay tuned for my brand spanking new 7-Day Ageless Body Challenge in the next week or so! It’s priced to sell: FREE. You will love it.

Your Ageless Body Coach,

Screen Shot 2015-11-08 at 11.26.15 AM



calories, fat-burning, fitness, interval, intervals, women

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  1. My doctor just recommended this exact workout. She uses it on her bike. I’ve practiced this 2 days this week for the first time walking. I can definitely tell my overall workout is yielding better results. I have more energy afterwards, even though I’m working up more of a sweat and my heart is pounding a little harder. This is a much more rewarding and even easier technique for a good power walk.

  2. Hi Linda

    I love your commentaries. It’s because I can relate to each entry LOL! Your workouts are awesome. I’m 48 and right now it seems as if nothing wants to go anywhere, which can be seen as good and not so good. Not sure if it’s my calorie intake or what but I sorta think my hormones have something to do with this slooooow progress. Do you have any more suggestions for premenopause workouts and nutrition? Thanks. Keep up the GREAT work!

    1. Thanks so much, Toni! Usually diet is the issue because not eating a 300-calorie treat is easier than trying to burn it off later. Hormones are definitely a contributing issue to weight gain, but more about weight distribution (hello, belly fat), than actual gain. Have patience! I’ve talked about how I lost 15 lbs. over the course of a year. That’s one pound a month. Just keep doing the right things and it will happen :). You can also look at my blog archives by clicking on the tiles on the bottom of my main blog page for Ageless Nutrition, etc. Thanks!

  3. Hey Linda!
    Once again, you delivered another great article – thanks! I’m going to try this on Friday which is my “rest” day. When I initially read the “instructions” I thought I had to come up with 5 different exercises (one for each round) but when I re-read it, I understood that it only requires 5 sets of the same exercise:). This interval plan seems really doable and simple. Can I use either jumping jacks, plank jacks, or jump rope as my cardio?

    Thanks much and have an awesome day! I’m looking forward to the 7-day body challenge!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. Hey Denise, Sure, you can do whatever cardio works for you! 🙂

  4. Thanks for this Linda! It’s my low back that routinely goes and prevents a regular workout schedule. Ugh Part of my problem is being so short waisted, only have 1″ between my bottom rib and the top of my hip bone. So things like Dead Lifts are a complete no go for me, no matter how careful I am with form. And lets talk about stretching – it’s an absolutely mandatory daily routine for me. Skip it, even without a workout and I’m doomed. Some ‘simple’ move like picking up the dog leash and I could be on ice for days. Again, thanks for this. I am gonna give it a go.

    1. HI Nanette! No, definitely do NOT attempt deadlifts if you have lower back issues. How much core work do you do? Back issues are often the result of a weak core. Planks, which are usually safe for everyone, help. And yes, stretching every day is a must. Be sure to focus on engaging your abdominals before doing anything involving bending and picking up things, too!

  5. As Denise said “Another great article”! I have started doing this in my 7 mile walk and found music that helps me do it. Finally, one of your other post kicked me in the pants (about me not doing well while my instructor was on break) and I am back on track and already down 3 pounds this week. Thank you so much for your post and I watch the minimum amount of TV and do not have any of the other stuff either. I’m not against it I just find it boring compared to doing something.

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