There is a huge reason why many of us spend an hour a day in the gym. We are trying to burn out our muscles as efficiently as we can and break that sweat that makes us feel like we had the best gym sesh. Yes, we strive to feel this way every single time we work out, which equals to about five times a week. These sessions are calorie burning and muscle scorching yet we have not seen the scale budge in two weeks–how can this be? The secret could be that you are actually doing too many high-intensity workouts that aren’t giving your muscles a break. Including low-intensity workouts is a critical part of any workout regimen.
We get it, low-intensity workouts can seem boring and pointless. They don’t leave us drenched in sweat and we find ourselves constantly looking at the clock and feeling like minutes take hours to pass. However, it is just as important to have steady-pace cardio and low-impact workouts as it is to have those higher intensity workouts that we love. As American Ninja Warrior and the like prove time and time again the real achievement is being able to have a balance between strength and speed as well as endurance and a solid foundation.
When you are constantly doing high-intensity workouts your body reaches a certain threshold that is hard to break. The way to break this threshold and always keep creating challenges and change in the body is to have low-intensity workouts to breaks up the high-intensity training. If you are always performing high-intensity training you can also be susceptible to burn out, which is something you really don’t want and keeps you stagnant in your goals as well.
It is recommended to follow a high-intensity workout day with a low-intensity workout day. This keeps your workouts varied, it breaks up the monotony and keeps the body always guessing. A low-intensity workout is defined by the effort you put into it, as well as a great time to focus on your mind-muscle connection. Any workout where your heart rate remains moderate and lasts at least 10 minutes is considered a low-intensity workout. Examples of low-intensity workouts include-
a brisk walk that’s at least 20 minutes
a bike ride that’s at least 30-minutes
a moderate intensity on an elliptical that lasts for at least 20 minutes
a swim that’s at least 15 minutes
a light jog that’s at least 15 minutes
an easy row that’s at least 15 minutes