By Liz DiAlto

This isn’t about losing weight ladies, you know how we feel about scales and the like. This is about working out smarter.  We know workouts burn calories, but if given the option to get more specific and actually tap into fat stores, would you say yes?  Spring is here and there’s no need to be wasting time on exercise when that could be spent enjoying one of the most beautiful seasons of the year.

The secret: bursts of intensity.

So, how can you increase the intensity level of your cardio workout? Well, no matter your sweat session of choice (be it running, biking, dancing or anything else!), you can do less and burn more by either increasing resistance or increasing speed.

This type of workout also goes by a lot quicker than long, steady state cardio (aka, doing the same boring thing for 30,40, 50 minutes plus) – meaning you’ll be less likely to pass out from boredom, and more likely to pass out from the intensity of your workout. (We’re kidding. If you feel faint at all, please stop!)

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We recommend adding 30 to 60 second bursts of all you’ve got into your cardio routine every other minute or so. Depending on how intense your bursts are, you may need a longer period of “active rest”-which is the normal time between bursts, at your regular pace. So, if you usually jog for 20 minutes. Instead, try sprinting for 30 seconds, jogging (the “active rest”) until you catch your breath and then repeating. The goal: to decrease the amount of time you need to catch your breath in this “active rest” time and increase the intensity (aka speed) of your sprints.

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The best part?  This type of workout boosts your metabolism too because your body goes into an oxygen deficit during the workout, which means it has to catch back up once it’s over.  This is called the “afterburn.” So, even though the workout is technically over, your body is still working. (Unlike during your long, steady cardio sessions during which your workout really ends when you hit the “stop” button.)

We know, it sounds too good to be true – but it’s not.!

Want to be a really super star?  Avoid sugar, alcohol and processed foods for 24 hours after such a workout, and drink lots of H20 to even further maximize the “afterburn.”

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