Interval Training

Ever wonder what type of workout burns the most calories? Even better, a workout that burns more calories in less time? Whether you are new to the workout world or a veteran, you have probably heard speculation about what the best workout is to burn the most calories in a short period of time. The truth is there is no miracle workout that burns tons of calories in no time, because the most effective workout varies from person to person. A high intensity workout for one individual might not be a high intensity workout for another. However, there are specific techniques that can be done during exercise that can help increase calories burned and one prime example is an exercise technique known as interval training.

Interval training involves exercise that is divided into various bursts of high intensity cardio workouts altered with recovery periods. This mix between high intensity periods and appropriate recovery time before the next high intensity burst creates a workout that can burn more calories in a shorter amount of time than if doing a workout consisting of constant moderate activity for let’s say 30-45 minutes. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, short, high intensity exercise like that of intervals, burns more calories than long, low to moderate intensity activity. Therefore being a prime reason as to why it’s a great way to lose weight and keep in shape.

There are many benefits that come with doing interval training, such benefits consist of:

  • Enhanced heart response due to the multiple periods of recovery which allows an individual’s heart rate to decrease from when it shot up during the specific interval exercise.
  • Boosts immune system; according to a study done by Texas Christian University, people who exercise on a regular basis have higher counts of immune cells.
  • Allows heart and lungs to grow larger and to become more powerful, leading to lesser risks related to heart issues.
  • Increase in heart stroke volume.
  • Burns more calories; the combination of intense activity and recovery time, allows the body to exert more energy than it would during a moderate intensity workout such as a run done at steady state.
  • Time efficient
  • Decreases boredom; running on a treadmill for a straight 45 minutes can become monotonous very quickly, so by mixing up your workout with intervals, it allows for a more upbeat and stimulating workout.

 

               So if you are curious about interval training and the positive affects that it has on your health and overall fitness, give it a try! Next time you step foot on a treadmill or place a foot in a bike pedal create and plan an interval workout that is best suited for you. For instance, instead of a 45 minute run at a moderate pace try a 15 minute run consisting of high intensity bursts and ample recovery time between each.

Here are some examples of interval workouts whether you are walking, running and/or swimming:

  • If walking on a treadmill, take advantage of using the incline. After a short 5-8 minute warm-up, start by increasing the incline to your desired percent grade at the desired speed. Walk for 30 seconds to a minute and then bring the incline back down to 0, you can either increase your speed or keep it at a moderate pace for 2 minutes and repeat this till you wish to be complete.
  • If running, jog at a moderate pace to warm-up for 5-8 minutes. After the warm-up, alternate jogging with a sprint or a faster pace for 30- 60 seconds. After each interval, slow back down to a normal jogging pace in order to decrease your heart rate before increasing your heart rate again.
  • If swimming, depending on your level of swimming experience you can modify the intensity of your overall workout. Start off with 6, 25 yards laps, resting for 30 seconds between each lap. As you become more comfortable increase the amount of laps and decrease the recovery time between each lap.

Resource: WebMd

Written by: Heather Coffman

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