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Wind Sprint Your Way To Fitness

What Are Wind Sprints?

Wind sprint is a familiar term to athletes. For them it means to sprint or go very fast. But it's the first word -- WIND -- that should really be emphasized, because the purpose of the exercise is to get momentarily winded. Athletes have to go very fast to get winded. Out-of-shape people can get winded from just walking. (It might have been easier to explain this technique if I had made up a new name for it, such as "The Get Winded Exercise.")

If you want to become a person who burns LOTS of fat during aerobic exercise, then you have to raise the level at which you exercise. Doing little bursts to "get winded" in the middle of your regular aerobic exercise session is what raises that level. Plus, wind sprints add intensity and challenge to your workouts without the danger of getting injured.

How Do I Do Wind Sprints?

During the middle of your aerobic exercise, add several short bursts of intensity by going faster or increasing the resistance. Don't try to go as fast or as hard as you can. Just go fast enough so that after 20-40 seconds you are breathing harder.

The real secret to increasing fitness with wind sprints is what you do AFTER the sprint.

To get the maximum benefit from your sprint, you've got to return to the speed you were going prior to the sprint. Do not stop or go slower than pre-sprint speed. After you have recovered from the sprint, repeat this sprint/recover cycle. You can eventually add up to 5-10 sprints per workout. Here's a bonus: when you add sprints to your workout you can shorten the total exercise time.

What Do I Mean By Intensity?

I worry that some people may quote me out of context: "Covert Bailey says you have to do intense exercise if you want to get fit." If this is all they say, their friends will think that adding intensity means going as fast as they possibly can. There are many ways to add intensity and going faster is one of them.

Using wind sprints to add intensity means exercising just a little bit harder than usual. It means for just a few moments. Let's say you are terribly out of shape and 50 pounds overweight. Slow walking is your fastest comfortable exercise. In the middle of your walk you go up a short hill, which makes you puff a little. The uphill stretch is not hard enough or long enough to exhaust you or make you gasp, but it's enough extra effort to make you glad to reach the top.

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