Interval Training: Varying Training Intensity to boost performance
Are you ready to shake up your workout routine? Do you wish you could burn more calories without spending more time at the gym? Interval training may be just what your summer workout needs.
Aerobic Interval training sounds intense but it is simply alternating bursts of intense activity with intervals of lighter activity. Some may think it is meant for elite athletes but this method of exercise is recommended for beginner and intermediate exercisers too.
After warming up for five minutes, increase the intensity for 30 seconds and then resume your normal pace. The rest interval should enable you to jog and bring the heart rate down to near 100-110 bpm. The next burst of more intense activity may last two to three minutes. The intervals can vary throughout your workout. How much you pick up the pace, how often and for how long is up to you. If you're working toward a specific fitness goal, you may want to get a personal trainer to help you time the intensity and duration of your intervals based on your target heart rate, the ability of your heart and lungs to deliver oxygen to your muscles (peak oxygen intake) and other factors.
Regardless of whether you are a novice or expert exerciser, interval training can provide numerous benefits:
Burn more calories. As you exercise more vigorously, the amount of calories you burn is increased. This is true even if the intensity level is only increased for a few minutes at a time.
Improve aerobic capacity. As your cardiovascular fitness improves, you'll be able to exercise longer or with more intensity. Imagine finishing your 60-minute walk in 45 minutes — or the additional calories you'll burn by keeping up the pace for the full 60 minutes.
Reduce workout boredom. Varying your intensity levels in short intervals can shake up your regular exercise routine.
No special equipment. All you need to do is take your current gym routine and modify it.
Interval training can be completed on many different levels. If you feel more energetic one day and less on another, you can alter the length and speed of each high-intensity interval accordingly. However, interval training is not appropriate for everyone. If you have a chronic health condition or haven't been exercising regularly, consult your doctor before trying any type of interval training. To ensure you are doing it correctly and to maximize results, consult a personal trainer to help you design an interval-training program to meet your needs. Personal trainers are certified and knowledgeable regarding interval training, keeping the risk of overuse and injury down. And don’t forget to continue with your strength training. Ask your trainer to create you a program that combines interval training with the appropriate strength training routine.
stay tuned for next months editorial on health and fitness