Year ago – back in my 20s and 30s, I was a fairly avid jogger. I used to jog between 2 and 3 miles a day, 5-days a week. Yet for some reason, I never got really good at jogging. I wondered why it is so much easier for some people than for me. These people with tall, lanky frames could seemingly run for ever without getting exhausted or feeling strained joints and body parts. I never got real good at jogging, but I assumed it was the only way to be cardiovascular-fit. By the time I reached, 40 years old, jogging became impossible due to hip pain, knee pain and back pain. I started finding other ways to exercise, including elliptical trainers, stationary and recumbent exercise bikes. In between, I take long walks. Even 20-30 minutes on a bike or elliptical begins to strain the body and with a busy work schedule, it’s hard to make time. Then, I heard about the Tabata Exercise Routine.
What Is Tabata?
Tabata is a high-intensity cardio and strength-training program that improves endurance, stamina and heart circulation in just 4 minutes a day. Izumi Tabata, a scientist from Japan, invented the Tabata Exercise Routine for high-performance athletes such as runners, speed skaters, track competitors, etc. Tzumi Tabata and other scientists actually tested his unique, exercise program on athletes and compared results with those who didn’t participate. They found that the athletes who practices Tabata had significantly better aerobic benefits from this form of exercise. Non-athletes, who have tried the Tabata exercise program have expressed measurable personal, health benefits from the routine, including improved energy, sleep, stamina, endurance and stronger immune system. I discovered Tabata while looking up gout prevention cures. Tabata was recommended as a way to improve the blood flow in the toes where gout most often occurs. I figured if it’s only 4 minutes a day, what do I have to lose. My only fear is that it requires running. Would four minutes of running be hard on my back or knees or is there another way?
How to Do It
An exercise program couldn’t be more simple. Here is how you do the Tabata exercise routine in three simple steps.
Step 1: Walk at a casual pace for 10 seconds, sprint like crazy for 20 seconds.
Step 2: Repeat step-1 until 4 minutes have passed. At the end of 4 minutes, there is no doubt, your heart and lungs will be pumping like crazy. You’ll feel intense and immediate fatigue – that’s good, it means it’s working. My advice is to make your sprints a little slower at first and increase the intensity a little every couple of days or once a week until you’re at full speed. Of course, make sure you’ve had a physical check-up with your doctor before engaging in such a vigorous, aerobic program. What about the strain it puts on our hips and joints? Is there another way to do Tabata?
Another Way to do the Four Minute Exercise
My idea is that you don’t have to run to get the lungs and heart pumping. I use my stationary, recumbent bike to do Tabata. I cycle lightly with light-to-moderate resistance for 10 seconds, than pump the pedals as fast I can for the next 20 seconds, repeat and so-on and so-on until the 4:00 minutes are up. My bike has a pulse meter on it, so I know I’m really getting my heart beyond its maximum rate. Obviously, you can do Tabata on an elliptical trainer or any other type of Cardio machine. Whatever is convenient and works best for you. In between Tabata, I do pushups and moderate walks as well. I try to increase the resistance a little each day on the bike. After a couple of weeks of Tabata, how does it feel? Does it really work?
Does the Tabata Exercise Routine Really Work?
I can only speak for myself, but after 2 weeks of Tabata on the bike, 5 days a week, I’ve noticed measurable improvement in my energy, stamina and sleep – just as advertised. It’s important to note that the Tabata exercise routine made me feel very tired at first. It wasn’t an immediate improvement. After 5 or 6 times, however, I actually started feeling invigorated and great energy after the routine. Finally, my recovery pulse has dropped by about 12 beats-per-minute. Tabata really works.