It seems nearly every day we hear about some new fitness myth.
Some have been around for eons and won’t go away no matter how many studies, research and logic to the contrary.
Take weight training for women, for example.
“I don’t want big muscles!” is still a common fear.
Fact is, lifting weights/resistance training is the ONLY way to reverse the drop in metabolism due to the loss of muscle starting in our 30s.
Not to mention that you can’t firm fat, only muscle.
Another common myth: the fat-burning zone.
This is a zone where you burn the highest percentage of fat and occurs at a relatively easy to low-moderate pace.
To clarify, it’s not a total myth, just misinterpreted.
In addition, you’re always burning fat, even as you read these words.
You don’t only burn fat and calories when you’re working out.
The simple act of being alive (which I assume you are if you’re reading these words, since zombies don’t typically worry about these issues) means you’re burning a combination of fat and carbs (hopefully not protein, which happens when you run out of the other two, and it means you’re burning muscle).
This makes up your “resting metabolism” and is about 70% of your total calories burned each day.
The percentages of fat and carbohydrate burn shifts depending on what you’re doing.
Don’t worry about the zone.
In general, slower, long workouts (those in the “fat-burning zone”) burn fewer total calories.
So even though the percentage of fat you burn may be higher, you’ll reach your goals—and lose weight—much faster if you up the intensity and workout for a shorter time.
That’s right: you accomplish more in less time! If only every aspect of life had this option.
Plus, after 50 bone loss becomes a problem, especially after menopause.
So it’s a good idea to include cardio with some impact – walking, jogging, running, jumping rope, etc. if you can. Any cardio is good for your heart, but a steady diet of all non-impact workouts isn’t great for your bones.
On top of that, numerous studies show intervals help you burn more calories throughout the day in an “after burner” effect–you’ll keep burning calories long after you’re finished working out (exactly how much more depends on the intensity of your workout).
Shorter workouts, better results and a body that burns calories like a furnace!
What’s better than that?
Without further adieu, here are three fun and motivating interval training routines for you to try.
Let me know which ones work best for you by leaving a comment down below.
FAT-BURNING CARDIO PLANS
This plan works up and then down in intensity with speed. Warm up five minutes at a walking pace, then:
The simplest interval routine. Make up your own by starting with equal times for walking and picking up the pace, whether it’s walking faster or, if you can do it, jogging. Then increase the faster times for a greater challenge. Here’s another interval pattern to help you get started.
Take action now by trying one or more of these plans.
Other posts you may enjoy:
Which did you like best and why? Do you have another interval plan you like as well?
Your Ageless Body Coach,
Linda Melone is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, certified trainer and award-winning health and fitness writer. She specializes in helping women over 50 get in shape and lose weight.