In a previous post I was saying how good walking is for you. No disputing that. Research backs it up, as does common sense.
However, this past week, in order to wake my metabolism up (to be honest I am not sure whether that is even a thing, but it sounds like it should be) I have been fartlekking. The main reason is I like the word, but it also gets the heart-rate up and is generally good for your fitness levels.
So what is it? Like a lot of good things, it is Swedish (as is the zipper, tetrapak, the artificial pacemaker, the smorgasbord and – wait for it – the adjustable wrench). Essentially it can be described as follows:
….. periods of fast running intermixed with periods of slower running. For some people, this could be a mix of jogging and sprinting, but for beginners it could be walking with jogging sections added in when possible.
For me, it is the latter. I count my paces and do 100 fast walking followed by 100 s-l-o-w jogging. I do about 4 miles. I try at all stages not to look like I might need resuscitating.
When in doubt about benefits or otherwise of health matters, I tend to turn to the NHS website. This is what they say about fartlekking.
What is interval training?
An interval training workout involves alternating periods of high-intensity effort with periods of low-intensity effort, which is called the recovery. For runners, this would typically involve interspersing bouts of fast running with slower running.
What happens to your body during the recovery phase?
The recovery phase is a really important part of interval training. The stop-and-start pattern trains your body to recover quickly between bursts of faster running, which, over time, will gradually increase your ability to run faster for longer.
What are the health benefits of interval training?
The long-term health benefits from interval training are similar to those achieved from most types of longer-duration, moderate-intensity aerobic exercise, namely a lower risk of many chronic diseases, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke and some cancers.
Can interval training help me lose weight?
During the high-intensity phase, your body burns mainly carbs for energy but during the recovery, your body burns mainly fat to produce the energy needed to help your body recover from the intense effort. This process can continue for hours after training, which can help you lose weight, as long as you’re also eating healthily.
What research is there on interval training?
There is growing evidence to support that interval training might be as effective, if not more so, than longer, moderate-intensity aerobic workouts. Researchers at McMaster University in Canada found that three 20-minute sessions of interval training a week provided the same benefits as 10 hours of steady exercise over a two-week period.
Well in that case, I will stick with it.
Annie Bee x
My previous post on walking is here: http://wp.me/p5MNeq-1P