To get the most out of your fitness training program, you need to firstly build up your endurance. This is the aim of endurance, or low intensity, days. If you can’t work out at a slow and steady pace, doing any other sort of training isn’t really going to benefit you. That’s exactly what endurance days are all about – working slowly and steadily. It’s important to include endurance days in any sort of training program, even one that’s just for general health and fitness. It’s not just for people who are interested in endurance events like 5k or marathon running.
When you start out, you might find that you can only exercise for a short time. That’s okay. The length of time you train for will depend on your fitness level. Beginners might start with 15 or 20 minute workouts. The actual time you exercise for isn’t that important. What is important is that you find a base that you’re comfortable with and then build on that base. The aim is to gradually increase the time you can exercise for until you can consistently work at that steady pace for about an hour. Once you reach that point, you don’t need to keep extending the time. An hour is sufficient to maintain the desired result.
If you keep extending the time you exercise for, you run the risk of sustaining injuries due to overuse of the muscles and joints. You don’t want to overdo your endurance days. Reducing injury risk is another reason to just build up your exercise time gradually. You are more likely to sustain injuries by working too long than by working too fast.
Endurance days are important because, by working out at a slow and steady pace, you are training your body to burn fat efficiently and this is what you need if your fitness or weight loss program is to be successful. People who don’t do this low intensity training and just do harder, faster workouts are only using carbohydrates as an energy source, not burning their fat stores. And it’s not only while you’re doing your endurance work that you’re burning fat. Once your body has learnt to burn fat efficiently, it will keep doing so 24 hours a day, not just when you’re exercising.
However, even people who do endurance training may not be getting the full benefit from it. This is because many work at the incorrect heart rate. That’s why using a heart rate monitor during your workouts is a good idea. Personal trainers, like those at Live Lean Today, can tailor a fitness program just for you and help you determine the correct heart rate to work at so that you can get the most out of your training program.