It can take ten minutes or less. Most of us can find 10 minutes on most days, right?
Tabata is a high intensity workout that was developed from a study in 1996 designed by, and named after, Professor Izumi Tabata in Japan. It involves intense full body exercise for 20 seconds, then 10 seconds of rest, repeated 8 times for a total of 4 minutes. So if you add in a few minutes of warm up and cool down, both of which are highly recommended, you end up at about 10 minutes. One study showed better results of those doing Tabata for 4 minutes 4 times a week than the group that exercised 5 times a week on a stationary bike for 1 hour. I’m in!!!
HOW TO DO TABATA
Warm up: I like to start off by moving my body around to one song on Pandora, usually Johnny Rivers station playlist.
Then I access the free Tabata timer app that I downloaded to my iPhone and iPad. This tells you when to do the 20 seconds of high intensity exercise and when to rest for 10 seconds.
Actual Tabata: It goes something like this:
20 seconds rapid squats, 10 seconds rest
20 seconds push-ups, 10 seconds rest
20 seconds jumping jacks, 10 seconds rest
20 seconds burpees, 10 seconds rest
Cool down: Do slow movements and stretches to another song on Pandora. Done!
Simple and quick. That’s my kind of exercise. In addition, it provides both an aerobic and anaerobic workout that is great for improving endurance, stamina, and fat-burning, it protects/builds muscle tissue, and improves glucose metabolism. Here is a great link with video demonstrations and more information: http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/ask-the-ripped-dude-what-the-heck-is-tabata-training.html.
It is recommended that you perform Tabata 1-3 times a week, with rest days in between. Let me know what you think after you try it!
OTHER FAVORITE EXERCISE IDEAS
I also like exercising on my mini-trampoline or rebounder. It is particularly good for draining the lymphatic system and increasing bone mass. It is also easy on the joints and good for stress reduction. Did I say fun too?
There are these nifty decks of cards called Fitdecks that are a wonderful resource for ideas of different kinds of exercises that you can perform. They were developed by Navy Seal trained Phil Black. The two above are specific for exercises using only your own body weight and for children, respectively. There are a number of other versions, such as yoga and kettleball workouts.
The big takeaway here is find something you enjoy doing to move your body more, and then do it. I hope this blog inspires you to be more active. Your body will be happier for it.
Of course I advise that you check with your doctor beforehand if you have any concerns before starting any new exercises, and you need to build up gradually if you are not accustomed to exercising. Happy moving more.