Everybody knows that exercise is a key element in living a healthy lifestyle. Some struggles with their diet, for me it’s with exercise. It seems there’s always something preventing me from getting fit. Honestly, who has the time to exercise? Not me! So I was very pleased to learn that with interval training, there’s a way to fit a week’s training into just one-hour routine!
What is interval training
Interval training is a succession of high intensity exercises with rest time in between. The idea is to increase the intensity of your aerobics in short bouts of few minutes, returning to your “normal” pace in between. Normally, the ratio between the high intensity rush and regular pace is 1 to 3.
What interval training can do for you
Compared to regular continuous aerobics, like running, cycling or rowing, interval training can double your endurance, improve your oxygen use and strength by more than 10%. By incorporating interval training to your exercise routine, you can achieve your fitness goals about 50% faster. Because it helps to build muscles more efficiently, interval training can also boost your metabolism, helping your body to burn more calories, even when you finished your workout. It’s also better to detox naturally, as you’re more likely to sweat during the high intensity bursts. And like with any exercises, interval training will help you to manage your weight, increase your blood flow, promote your heart health, lower your blood pressure, your cholesterol, help you in diabetes prevention, improve your lungs function and help regularize your hormones levels.
How to do it
The basic rules are that the high intensity phases should be long and strenuous enough to put you out of breath. If you monitor your health rate, you should get between 80% to 85% of your maximum heart rate. For the “resting” phases, you shouldn’t let your heart rate return completely to its resting rate. As example, you could try 4 sessions of 4 minutes each, with 1 minute of high intensity bursts followed by 3 minutes of “regular” aerobic pace. Keep your age and overall fitness level in mind before starting an interval training session, and always start your workout with a warming period. Fitness trainers suggest allowing more than 24 hours between sessions to allow your body to recover and help to avoid overtraining.
Interval training has been originally designed for Olympic athletes. It can be hard on the body, so remember to take it slow. People suffering from a heart-related condition should always talk to their health socialist before doing such strenuous exercises. But for most of us, interval training can be an excellent way to reap all the health benefits of exercise in much less time!
Have you ever tried interval training before? What is your favorite way to get fit? Have some fitness tricks to share?