Shake up your routine with interval training

August 10, 2010

I’ve been reading a lot about interval training in many of my fitness magazines. The experts say IT can produce faster results in less time. I’m all for that, so I did a little more research and have been incorporating it into both my elliptical and running workouts.

Essentially, interval training consists of bursts of high intensity effort alternated with rest periods or a slower pace. I usually do a 5 minute warm up, then begin a 25 minute interval cycle, followed by a 5 minute cool down. When I’m on the elliptical, I do 1 minute at a comfortable pace and 2 minutes at a speed that gets my heart rate pumping.  My walk/fun intervals are usually 2 minutes walking and 4 minutes running.

The top three things I like about interval training are:

1. You can vary the length of intervals based on the activity and your fitness level.

2. Focusing on the timing of my intervals helps the workout time pass quickly.

3. By increasing the intervals, you build up endurance and strength.

To maintain a healthy lifestyle, exercise has to become a part of your daily routine. Boredom is one of the biggest obstacles in maintaining that habit, so stock your workout “tool box” with a variety of activities, routines and techniques, such as interval training. It will keep you motivated and challenged.

For more information, visit these websites:

http://sportsmedicine.about.com/od/tipsandtricks/a/Intervals.htm

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/interval-training/SM00110

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/03/fashion/03Fitness.html

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