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Interval Training, The Right Exercise for You

June 15, 2014
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Although interval training has been around for years, it has all of sudden become the “new” workout regimen that everyone is turning to these days. Mainly because interval training allows you to get the same or even more benefits with less time involved. Which for most people is key in today’s fast paced world. Not having the time is the most common reason people don’t exercise, or don’t exercise as much as they would like.  Interval training isn’t just for those who don’t have time or longer periods of exercise. It’s also for people who are trying to improve their performance, exercise efficiency, and recovery time.  People, who are looking for faster results from exercise, whatever those results maybe, should consider interval training.

Interval training, also known as HIIT, high intensity interval training involves alternating between short bursts of high intensity exercise followed by less intense forms of activity performed at regular time intervals. Traditionally interval training is associated with aerobic exercises such as walking, running, cycling or stair climbing. For example, walking at a fast pace for 30 seconds, followed by a slower walking pace for 2 minutes. This is then repeated for the entirety of your workout routine.  The high intensity intervals push your body to work harder, faster and longer, while the regular intervals allow for recovery. These low intensity periods are equally as important as the high intensity intervals. They allow the body to recover and ultimately improve overall function and efficiency.

The benefits of interval training are much the same as aerobic exercise i.e. reduced stress and anxiety, maintained full body functioning, improved circulation and oxygenation of your cells and help to lose or control weight. However interval training benefits include improving aerobic capacity, increasing exercise efficiency, faster recovery time from exercise and reduced risk of injury.  Interval training has the potential to burn even more calories than aerobic activity alone because it increases the ability to burn fat.

Interval training is not for everyone. Beginners, people with chronic health conditions, elderly, and people returning from injuries should consult a physician or trainer before starting an interval training workout. Always remember to properly warm up and cool down before and after working out. Remember to hydrate to replace fluids and electrolytes lost during workouts.