Disclaimer: Before starting any exercise plan, first consult with a healthcare professional or exercise physiologist for your safety.
Increasing your exercise intensity as you progress through your fitness journey can help you burn more fat and build more muscle. Working out at a higher intensity can even deliver the benefits of endurance training in a shorter amount of time, making it highly efficient for exercise.
Of course, increasing your exercise intensity doesn’t happen overnight. It happens with time as you get more fit and your body adapts to your workouts. Here are some ways you can safely increase your exercise intensity to reap maximum benefits without overdoing it.
Tips for Safely Increasing Exercise Intensity
Add Cardio to Your Resistance Exercises
By adding bits and pieces of cardio between resistance exercises, you can boost your metabolism and keep your heart rate up. Switching between muscle groups burns more calories during a workout and forces your body to make quick changes in movement, thus increasing your endurance. Cardio intervals can include sprinting, jumping jacks or even jump rope.
Add Incline to Your Walks
If you enjoy the simplicity of walking but want to take things to the next level, increase the incline on your treadmill or go for a walk with some uphill terrain. Even a slight incline makes your body work harder and use different muscles.
Start Light and Go from There
Exercise with progression in mind. Start with easier workouts that increase your heart rate but don’t require you to strain or exhaust yourself. As your workouts get easier, slowly increase one or more of these components:
- Level of difficulty
- Weight (resistance)
- Duration (time)
Get Plenty of Rest
As you put your body through more work, it needs time to adjust and recover. Take that time and get the rest you need. If something hurts or doesn’t feel right, listen to your body and take the appropriate measures.
Eat Foods that Fuel You
You might notice an increase in hunger or appetite as you increase your exercise intensity. Instead of counteracting a workout with junk food that doesn’t have much nutritional value, focus on filling foods with the nutrients you need.
Remember to consult with a healthcare professional or exercise physiologist before starting a new exercise plan or making any changes you are unsure of.