Interval Training

Are you in an exercise rut? Do you want to kick your fitness level up a notch and increase your endurance? Would you like to add more intensity to you workout? Interval training is a good way to achieve all of these goals in a safe and systematic manner.

Interval training is simply a matter of alternating high intensity exercise and low intensity exercise. It allows one to get the benefits of the high intensity work while giving the body some rest time. It allows one to extend a workout time period and build endurance gradually.

Running on a flat surface burns calories and gives your heart and lungs a great cardiovascular workout. Running up hill challenges your muscles, heart, and lungs, burning more calories and providing additional toning. But taking a 30 minute run up hill or on a steeply inclined treadmill would quickly exhaust most of us, or likely force us to stop early. However, running up hill then back down, or up hill then on flat ground would allow for high intensity work counter balanced by intervals of slower periods of active recovery. Interval training burns more calories and pumps more blood than continuous lower intensity exercise because it includes intervals of energy and oxygen-hungry work.

Because interval training burns a lot of calories and provides good muscle work, it may help you save time. A pound of feathers weighs the same as a pound of bricks. Likewise, running one mile burns the same number of calories as walking one mile. But walking one mile takes a lot more time. If your goal is calorie burning and toning, and you are short on time, then interval training does more, faster. Just remember that improving cardiovascular health requires aerobic exercise of 30 ? 60 minutes, so don't make all of your workouts quickies, save those for when you're in a rush.
Interval training can also be helpful if your goal is to move yourself up to the next level of endurance and fitness. Maybe you have been trying to start a running program, but can't seem to maintain such a demanding exercise. Interval training is, in fact, one of the most effective ways to train the body. Marathoners commonly use this method to train for an up-coming race. A good program is to run for 4 minutes then walk at a good clip for 1 minute, or do a 3/2 interval. Your body will work hard then rest (while remaining active), work hard then rest. Your heart, lungs and muscles will make the transition to running, running farther, or running faster in a safe and productive manner.

There are a lot of ways to add intervals to your workout. If you are already a runner add hills or speed segments. If aerobics classes are your genre, add explosive moves like jumps or sprints. Include segments of speed walking in your normal walking routine or take the incline of your treadmill up a little higher at timed intervals.

Interval training is productive and can add excitement to your ho-hum exercise routine. Doing interval work in place of your normal routine, once a month, once a week, or once a day, is a good and effective plan. E-mail me if you need suggestions on how to intensify, endure and enjoy. You'll be glad you did.

Molly Setnick graduated from Baylor University with a BS in Health/Fitness Studies. She is certified as a Physical Fitness Specialist through The Cooper Institute for Aerobics Research in Dallas, Texas and is AFAA certified to teach aerobics. She co-writes a weekly column for the Texas Jewish Post with Jessica Setnick, MS, RD/LD called "Making Fitness Fit". She can be reached at www.FitInFitness.com.

Copyright © 2004 Molly Setnick. Permission is granted to reprint this article in non-commercial publications so long as the bio paragraph and this notice is included. All other rights reserved. Inquiries may be made at www.FitInFitness.com.

In The News:


Care2.com

The Unexpected Best Time of Day to Exercise
Care2.com
If you're looking to lose weight or improve your health, you may be trying to do everything in your power to ensure your success: you eat right, sleep well, exercise daily. You may have even wondered whether exercising at a certain time of day could ...


UAB News

Study to explore women's emotional barriers to exercise
UAB News
Losing weight is one of the most common New Year's resolutions, but many people struggle to get enough exercise to make such a resolution stick. University of Alabama at Birmingham researchers want to help women get more exercise by finding out the ...

and more »

Entrepreneur

With This Exercise, Talk Your Way to Your Best Self
Entrepreneur
Step 1: Imagine someone with whom you want to have a win-win conversation or ask that person to partner with you for this exercise. Prime yourself for the conversation through journaling to practice speaking your voice. Write out what you want from ...


U.S. News & World Report

6 Frugal Ways to Exercise With Young Kids
U.S. News & World Report
The challenge of finding enough time and energy to break a sweat coupled with discouraging babysitter bills, gyms fees and class costs can knock exercise off of many parents' to-do lists. But it doesn't have to be that way. The good news is that there ...

and more »

Pay Attention: How to enjoy every minute of exercise
Philly.com (blog)
Does it take a while to get into your exercise class? I was talking to a colleague recently who loves skiing in the Alps. But as you might guess, that's impossible for him to do 3-4 times a week; so instead, he runs for 45 minutes every day. However ...


The power of exercise: yoga and pilates during pregnancy
myfox8.com
HIGH POINT, N.C. — Exercise plays an integral role in maintaining overall well-being, especially for expectant and new mothers. Incorporating fitness into a regular routine during pregnancy can help prepare the body for childbirth and aid in a quicker ...


Legal Examiner

The Role of Exercise in Older Driver Safety
Legal Examiner
We all know the value exercise plays in helping to keep us healthy as we age. Studies have shown that aerobic exercise alone can improve overall brain function (particularly memory) and can even increase brain volume in older adults. The effects of ...


New Moves For Your Favorite Fitness Equipment
Shape Magazine
But what else could your favorite pieces of fitness equipment be doing for you and your sweat session? Here's a look at five unexpected ways to get more from the equipment you adore. (Then, check out these 5 Pieces of Exercise Equipment Trainers Hate.).


Press-Enterprise

Remix Your Exercise Routine
Press-Enterprise
”Selecting an exercise you enjoy and are likely to stick to long-term is a key element to maintaining your physical fitness,” says Kaiser Permanente Physiology expert, Linda Frankenberger. “Diversifying your activity is most important because it staves ...


How One Woman Overcame Her Exercise Addiction
Shape Magazine
I can trace the roots of my exercise addiction back to the first time I snuck off to my room to do jumping jacks, lunges, burpees—anything that would up my heart rate and help me take control of my body. It started after my parents sent me, at 13, to ...

Google News

Movement That Matters: Exercise With a Greater Purpose

You've seen the commercials Ive fallen and I cant get... Read More

Attention, Ladies!

Building those impressively sleek shoulders takes a great deal of... Read More

Integrating Core Stabilization into Your Workouts

Stabilization is a hot topic in the fitness industry over... Read More

Tone Up While at Work

I know better than anybody that sitting at a desk... Read More

Thirty Minutes of Exercise a Day Keeps the Doctor Away

"Exercise is good for you!" If you had a dollar... Read More

Use an Exercise Training Diary to Keep Your Workouts on Track

A road map is a very handy tool when you're... Read More

Who Else Wants To Get In Shape in 35 Minutes?

Most of the physical fitness trainers, and coaches agree that... Read More

Dangerous Shoulder Exercises

Have you ever suffered from shoulder discomfort after working out?... Read More

Weight Loss, Bodybuilding, and Exercise Tips ? Keeping Your Body-fat Low: Part 2 of 10

My name is Greg Ryan. I am a fitness expert,... Read More

Yoga

Yoga traditionally conjures up images of long hair, loin cloths... Read More

Fitness Focus: Overcoming Obstacles

If you're like me, the quest to be in shape,... Read More

When Exercising Right Looks Wrong

For most of us we live in a black and... Read More

No Time For The Gym?

As you have undoubtedly heard, college students around the country... Read More

How to Choose a Good Jogging Stroller

If you lead an active lifestyle and you want to... Read More

Lance Armstrong and Exercise - From Denial to Desire!

Press Conference 1996 ? Lance Armstrong On Wednesday October 2,... Read More

4 Exercises That Will Help You Change Your Body Faster Than Any Other Exercises You May Have Tried

1. Lunges with a barbell. Properly executed, this exercise is... Read More

Weight Loss, Bodybuilding, and Exercise Tips ? Keeping Your Body-fat Low; Part 1 of 10

Ever go to a party and wish you were the... Read More

Physical Fitness - Is Your Workout Missing Something?

Hiking along a rocky trail, two of the three friends... Read More

Is It Safe To Start An Exercise Program?

I think the real question is "How safe is it... Read More

The Abs... More Important Than You Think

What comes to your mind when I say the word... Read More

Exercise Nutrition: How To Keep That Energy Up!

How many times has this happened to you?>> You psych... Read More

Exercising - Ways of staying motivated!

The number one reason people say they do not exercise... Read More

Precision Abdominal Training

It's almost impossible to turn on the television or open... Read More

How to Get Better Exercise Results By Improving Hydration

Water and ExerciseYour body excretes water in a number of... Read More

Bodybuilding and Exercise ? The Ten Commandments in Making of a Champion!

1. Fill your life up with different hobbies! ? Bodybuilding... Read More