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The slow and steady rule to increase your exercise intensity

by qalfit

Are you working out regularly but not stopped seeing results lately? That’s because you might have hit a workout plateau where your exercise has no positive effect on your body. And this is where you need to start the slow and steady rule to increase your exercise intensity.

But, when you start to train harder suddenly to increase your intensity, your level of motivation and enthusiasm will urge you to achieve your ‘majestic’ fitness goals in a short time. And this combination of immense motivation and lofty fitness goals can make you overwork thereby damaging your body, especially your heart.

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What happens to your heart if you increase your exercise intensity suddenly?

According to a medical journal published by Mayo clinic proceedings, people who suddenly increased their exercise intensity or who exercised at very high intensity for a long period of time have higher rates of heart problems than people who exercise in their regular intensity. In fact, Barry A. Franklin, Ph.D., chair of the writing committee for the new Scientific Statement, reviewed over 300 scientific studies and found that people who exercise at moderate intensity have up to a 50%lower risk of a heart attack when compared to people who exercise at high intensity.

This is because high-intensity exercise over time may cause immense stress on your arteries leading to heart damage and rhythm disorders. Thus, a sudden change in your exercise intensity may cause permanent structural changes to heart muscles making you prone to deadly heart problems like cardiac arrest. 

But this doesn’t mean you should stick with your regular intensity all year! You just need to follow the slow and steady rule to increase your exercise intensity safely while gaining the maximum output from your training sessions.

So, how to implement the slow and steady rule successfully in your fitness routine?

This is quite simple. Just do what suits your fitness level! 

Don’t train to lite nor too extreme, find what’s ‘just right’ for your body and stick to that routine. Now if you want to increase your exercise intensity, make sure that you are mentally and physically ready to take in the extra training. 

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Take it slowly:

The ‘Physical activity guidelines for Americans’ recommends that adults can do at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes a week of high-intensity exercise.

So, you need to balance out your training intensity. For instance, if you run 3 Kilometers every day, suddenly changing your routine to hit 6 kilometers every day will definitely take a toll on your body and puts you in a burnout phase. It may even lead to a potential injury. You need to take it slowly.

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Have a steady routine chart:

So, instead of changing your routine suddenly and adding an exertion, start slow and increase your intensity steadily. Stick to your regular 3k for the first 5 days and increase it to 4k for the next 5 days and gradually amp up your training to reach your desired goal. Thus, you will move into the phase where you are mentally and physically ready to hit 6 kilometers daily. 

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How do you know that the slow and steady rule to increase your exercise intensity has worked for you?

After you’ve increased your intensity, focus on your breathing, heart rate, how much you’re sweating and how tired you are after the exercise. If your heart rate and breath rate is abnormal and you feel extremely tired and sore than how you would normally feel after your exercise sessions, you need to step back a little and reduce your intensity and start things over again to gradually make you ready to take the extra load.

So, if you’re looking to ramp up your intensity, follow the slow and steady rule to increase your exercise intensity and have a smooth, safe and injury-free transition.  

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