Interval training is a powerful workout for novice exercisers and accomplished athletes alike. It will shake up your routine and increase your calorie burn, allowing you to maximize your gym time.
Here's how it works:
Interval training is basically exercise which alternates between bursts of activity at high intensity for a period of time and bursts of activity at low intensity for a period of time. Repeat these "bursts" throughout your workout.
The high intensity bursts are called "sprint" intervals while the lower intensity are your recovery or "rest" intervals. The rest intervals are an important part of your training because they ensure that your sprints are done at optimal intensity.
The sprint intervals should be done on a scale of 1 - 10 (1 being no effort, 10 max effort). During your sprints, you should push yourself towards the higher end of your scale, keeping the intensity high. Depending on your exercise level (beginner, intermediate or accomplished) your training can last anywhere from 15 - 20 minutes to an hour and be very challenging and demanding for your body.
What's in it for me?
* you'll burn more calories: the more vigorously you move, the more calories you'll burn.
* you'll improve your aerobic activity: you'll be able to exercise longer and at higher intensities as your cardiovascular fitness improves.
* no equipment necessary: just modify your existing routine!
* you'll never be bored: intervals add variety to your routine.
Interval training will boost your metabolism, improve your fitness level and burn off extra fat. The best cardio activities to try your interval training are: walking, biking and running.
This type of training isn't for everyone so check with your doctor before attempting this workout and start slowly if you're a beginner to exercise. Remember to slow down if you think you're overdoing it. As your stamina and endurance improves, pick up the pace a bit to keep challenging yourself.
Above all, have fun!