5 The Interval Workout
To get the most out of your workout, alternate not only your loads, but also your tempo. The interval training technique is used to add spurts of extremely challenging activity into your workout. For example, after warming up with a brisk walk, run at a fast pace for 60 seconds, and then walk again for two minutes. Adding a run into a walking or jogging routine every 2 minutes revs up your heart and causes your metabolism to elevate for hours after your workout is finished. MayoClinic.com warns that this is a difficult technique, so only apply it after speaking with your doctor.
4 The Muscle Confusion Method
The term “muscle confusion” may sound like an odd phrase, since muscles don’t have brains to confuse, but it is a straightforward technique. Essentially, the muscle confusion technique is when you alternate between light-load, high-rep workouts and heavy-load, low-rep workouts. Your body is a master of adaptability, which is both good and bad. Being able to adapt helps your general survival, but can hamper your muscle growth and calorie burn. By changing up your method you prevent your body from settling into a rut. Use muscle confusion to help you blast through a plateau.
3 The Combo Technique
If you’re no stranger to curls, presses, lunges and squats, then you are looking for a workout technique that challenges you and brings you maximum results. Your body burns more calories when you do moves that combine your upper and lower body rather than exercising isolated muscle groups. According to celebrity trainer Jillian Michaels, one of the reasons for this is that your blood is being forced to race from top to bottom and back again, causing your heart rate to increase and burn more calories. Incorporate a tricep kickback into your lunge, add shoulder presses to your front squats or biceps curls to your step-ups.
2 The Resistance Factor
Muscles burn more calories than fat. So if you add on to your muscles, you will not only be healthier, but you will also be turning yourself into a fat-burning machine. After 40, muscle mass naturally declines, up to 30 percent in two decades, and it is up to you to keep yourself strong. Weight training is also good for your heart. A scientific study published in the “Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness” found that 16 weeks of resistance training lowered cardiovascular risk factors in middle-aged women. Start with light weights—such as 3 to 5 pounds—and work your major muscle groups twice a week. As light weights become easy, upgrade to their heavier cousins.
1 The Easy Start
If you’re starting from the several-hours-of-couch-jockeying-a-day beginner level, then it is important to start easy. Few things are easier than walking. But just walking still brings you huge benefits. You can help stave off menopausal weight gain by walking 30 minutes a day, five days a week. It can help to maintain your weight, prevent age-related issues like diabetes and high blood pressure, strengthen your bones and even increase your energy level. Don’t be afraid of adopting the simplest technique; the most important factor is sticking with it.