With demanding work schedules and busy home lives, Americans often feel like there are not enough minutes in the day to accomplish their growing to-do lists. Even the widely adopted, minimal recommendation of 30 minutes of exercise per day is often neglected because of a lack of time. With a little planning but a willingness to exercise intensely, you can burn as many calories in four minutes as you typically burn walking 2 miles.
Tabata is a type of intense interval training that you can complete in only four minutes. It is named after a Japanese professor, Dr. Izumi Tabata, who compared the effects of high-intensity, shorter-duration exercise to moderate-intensity, longer-term exercise sessions. Tabata found that while both types of training improved participants' aerobic systems, only the four-minute Tabata workout improved participants' anaerobic systems as well.
This high-intensity training burns calories not only while you are exercising but for hours after you have wrapped up your rigorous training session. Researchers from Colorado State University concluded that a minimum of 200 extra calories are burned during days when people incorporate interval exercise training, like Tabata. When you add an improved anaerobic system to the calorie-burning equation, you are actually burning more than 200 calories during any given day you successfully complete the Tabata feat.
A Tabata training session is comprised of eight intervals of 20-second spurts of intense exercise followed by 10 seconds of rest. A simple way to begin a Tabata interval is by choosing an exercise that you really enjoy and performing it with all of the energy you can muster for each 20-second burst. Try jumping rope, high-knee runs, burpees or squat jacks. Use your 10-second rest periods to recover and catch your breath so that you are prepared to approach each 20-second interval with full intensity.
After you complete a Tabata interval training session, rehydrate by drinking plenty of water. You may also want to refuel with a protein-rich bar. Be aware of the calories. Tabata can certainly help you burn some extra calories, but you need to consume fewer calories than you burn to lose weight.
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