So we are 20 days into 2012 and I’m sure most of us are already struggling to keep that New Year’s Resolution of exercising going. Well, I was introduced to the tabata method of exercise a couple of months ago and absolutely love how easy it is to stay motivated (you definitely sweat and feel the burn), change up your routine and fit it into your day no matter how crazy your schedule is.
Tabata (pronounced ta-ba-tuh) is a form of high-intensity interval training where you alternate periods of short intense cardio exercise with less-intensive recovery periods. In other words, you work your butt off for 30 seconds to a minute, then you do another 30 seconds to a minute of a less intense move and repeat three to six times depending on your goal or how much time you have. It’s not an exact workout routine; you can pretty much do something different every time you work out. It’s all about moving fast and getting your heart going while also strengthening your muscles.
If you’re kind of like me and have a hard time just coming up with your own routine, there are plenty of sources in popular magazines such as Shape or Women’s Health, fitness blogs and local classes. I learned about it this past fall when five friends and I had the opportunity to take a class with international fitness expert and Reebok Master Trainer Sara Haley in Santa Monica, CA. Sara totally worked us with a variety of exercises that targeted our arms, legs, butt and core. If this photo shows, we did sweat!
What I also learned by taking this class is that there are fantastic mobile apps for your iPad, iPhone, iPod or Android device that you can download and bring to the gym so that you don’t have to constantly keep your eye on the clock. Sara uses the Tabata Pro - Tabata Timer that you can download on iTunes. I’ve been using it at the gym and while some other gym rats look at me funny whenever the whistle blows and I’m off to another exercise, I think it’s fantastic. It’s easy to set up your routine and start working out.
With tabata you can get your cardio and your strength training in one. Add some light weights and a plank during your cool down and in 30 minutes you’ll have done more for your body than just running on the treadmill. Plus, it’s a heck of a lot more fun … and not just for the gym rats watching you.