I do cardiovascular work for two reasons of equal importance...

  • For the betterment of my fitness
  • For the post-workout increase in mental energy and well being

I usually do some intervallic type stationary bike work. I feel like if I push myself as hard as I naturally tend to, I'll be very tired afterwards... I feel like that's what you need to do to improve your fitness, but I'm missing out on the mental boost.

My question is how to ensure that I'm staying within a proper range to improve my fitness, and still get the mental boost... Or at least within a range, where my body will eventually adapt and I will start getting the boost again.

I only do an hour of cardio, usually every other day, but would like to eventually start every day like that.

  • With 'intervallic type (..) work', do you mean HIIT? If so I'm not sure what kind of mental boost you are expecting. You're basically clubbing your central nervous system to the ground (unfortunate side-effect of giving 100%).
    – user8119
    Mar 18, 2014 at 10:12
  • Edit the question title. Mar 19, 2014 at 6:53
  • I'm not sure what kind of "mental boost" you're expecting here, either. When I work out I give it my absolute best, and when I'm finished, I'm often barely able to walk to my car. However, I FEEL great, mentally speaking - almost like a sort of high... could have something to do with my ridiculous heart rate that I maintain for an hour straight while working out though, too... May 2, 2014 at 16:07

3 Answers 3


You are supposed to be tired after an interval workout. It should take you a few days to recover.

Interval workouts are great, but to get the best benefit from them you need to give yourself enough time between workouts to really recover. I recommend only twice a week at the most to give yourself ample time to recover. If you switch to working out every day, I'd still recommend only twice a week. Don't work out too hard the remaining days or you won't recover well enough.

Another note about intervals - the workouts should be really high intensity, but short. If you have an hour, I'd say 15 minute warmup, 20 minute interval workout, and then a 15 minute cooldown.

This approach seems counter-intuitive at first, but it does work.


Take a warm shower after your interval training. Spend time in the shower, soaking your tired aching muscles. That will reduce the tiredness and increase your alertness.

Once done, have a light snack. And then, drink some herbal/green tea.

Some also take multivitamins after all that(depending on the time of the day).

You should be refreshed to continue your day.


To ensure a proper heart rate range, I would invest in a heart rate monitor. There are several, but, since you ride a bike for the most part, you should look at a chest band with an accompanying watch. A heart rate monitor can assist you in maintaining a heart rate to reach your goals.

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