The Cardio Workout: Interval or Steady State

Health |

Miller offers two options for the cardio portion of your workout: Sprint up and down an entire flight of stairs (interval training) or limit your movements to an up and down motion on a single step in front of you (steady state training). You’ll burn the same number of calories, no matter which workout you choose, says Miller.

Interval Training. Staircase sprinting offers the benefits of interval training – increasing your heart rate in spurts and following up with a brief recovery period. The workout is simple: Run up the stairs and walk back down. Do this at a pace that you can continue for three to four minutes. Then recover by simply walking in place or stretching until you catch your breath – don’t allow yourself to completely cool down. Repeat the entire process for a total of seven to ten times, or thirty minutes, whichever comes first. You’ll be amazed at how quickly the time flies by when it’s broken up into intervals.

Steady State Workout. Miller refers to the repeated up and down workout on a single step as “steady state” exercise. You won’t exert yourself in spurts, but you’ll move continuously and for a little longer instead. Here’s how it’s done: Stand below the lowest step on your staircase and put one foot up, then the other. Then put one foot back on the ground, followed by the other. This “basic step” pattern is also known as “up, up, down, down.” It doesn’t matter which foot you use first. Do this for one minute, then begin again, leading with the opposite foot. Continue for a total of 40 minutes.

Miller also suggests a second step that you can mix into the routine: Step up with the right foot, then lift your left knee. Bring the left foot back down to the floor and then bring the right foot down to the floor.

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