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:


ABC News

Why 6 Seconds of Exercise Can Be as Worthwhile as 90 Minutes
ABC News
It's possible these results might translate to younger folks, said Michele Olson, an exercise science professor and researcher at Auburn University in Alabama. “Even a little activity can increase the efficiency of your heart and lead to more energy ...
Exercise: Why 6 Seconds Can Be as Worthwhile as 90 MinutesmyCentralOregon.com

all 5 news articles »

New York Times

For Those Stuck in the Terminal, an Opportunity to Exercise
New York Times
PHILADELPHIA — Dana Donofree had half an hour to wait for her flight to Atlanta and decided to use the time by working out — in a terminal at Philadelphia International Airport. Sitting on an exercise bike in Terminal D on a recent morning, Ms ...
For Passengers Stuck in the Terminal, an Opportunity to ExerciseNDTV

all 2 news articles »

New York Times (blog)

Ask Well: Exercise and Weight Loss
New York Times (blog)
Minute for minute, you will expend more energy and therefore burn more calories if you exercise intensely rather than moderately. In other words, running for 30 minutes uses more calories than walking for that same half hour. I suspect, though, that ...


Health Aware: Exercise prescription for senior health
Naperville Sun
Regular physical activity and exercise are important to the physical and mental health of almost everyone, including older adults. Staying physically active and exercising regularly can produce long-term health benefits and even improve health for some ...


The Real Danger of 'Too Much Exercise'
Huffington Post
The idea that extreme endurance exercise (e.g., exercising over an hour a day, racing multiple marathons in a lifetime, participating in Ironman distance triathlons) might be harmful for long-term heart health has gained traction in recent years. While ...


New App Pays You to Exercise
ABC News
New App Pays You to Exercise. Users input credit card information and agree to pay a penalty for each missed workout. 02:49 | 07/30/2014. Related Links: Watch: Exercise Study Finds Less Is More · Watch: Sick of Exercise or Is Exercise Making You Sick?
'Pact' app pays you to exerciseKENS 5 TV

all 3 news articles »

CNN

RIMPAC: The world's largest naval exercise
CNN
Forty-two ships and submarines representing 15 partner nations maneuver at a close formation during the Rim of the Pacific, or RIMPAC, exercise Friday, July 25. The exercise, which originated in 1971 and has been held every two years since 1974, is the ...
US Navy Chief Seeks to Ease Tensions With China Via Joint ExercisesWall Street Journal
In Photos: The World's Largest Naval Exercise, RIMPAC 2014VICE News
PHOTOS: 38 ships, 4 subs from 15 nations sail together during Navy's RIMPAC ...wtkr.com
Economic Times -CRIENGLISH.com -NavyTimes.com
all 68 news articles »

Guardian Liberty Voice

Fitness: Does Form and Posture Matter Much in Exercise? [Video]
Guardian Liberty Voice
fitness In the fitness profession, perhaps the proper form and posture to do most exercises do not matter much. In a recent article on The Personal Trainer Development Center, fitness professional Joy Victoria from Toronto, Canada, questioned and ...


BBC News

Six seconds of exercise 'can transform health'
BBC News
Short six-second bursts of vigorous exercise have the potential to transform the health of elderly people, say researchers in Scotland. A pilot study involving 12 pensioners showed going all-out in very short bursts, reduced blood pressure and improved ...
Exercising 6 Seconds At A Time Yields Benefits: ReportInternational Business Times
How Two Minutes of Exercise Could Keep You Healthy in Old AgeCare2.com
Exercise Not Just For The Youth; Short High-Intensity Workouts Can 'Transform ...Medical Daily
Express.co.uk -Daily Mail -Diabetes.co.uk
all 62 news articles »

New York Times (blog)

Running 5 Minutes a Day Has Long-Lasting Benefits
New York Times (blog)
Running for as little as five minutes a day could significantly lower a person's risk of dying prematurely, according to a large-scale new study of exercise and mortality. The findings suggest that the benefits of even small amounts of vigorous ...

and more »
Google News

Lower Back Extension Exercise

This is an excellent exercise for the lower back that... Read More

Strength Training After Fifty

Strength training after fifty is no longer for those people... Read More

How To Overcome Workout Plateaus

Humans are habitual. They strive on routine and rituals. While... Read More

What the Philosophy of Tai Chi Can Do For You

Taoist PhilosophyTo understand the purpose of the form it is... Read More

How Exercise and Beta-Glucan Help the Immune System

It is thought that moderate exercise, such as speed walking,... Read More

The Bad Workout: Some Advice for Female Bodybuilders

Bad workouts. We have all had them at some time... Read More

How to Pick a Good Personal Trainer

One of the major benefits of the YourBestBodyNOW Program and... Read More

People Walking: How Some People Enjoy Their Exercise Walking

People walking regularly for exercise often walk for more than... Read More

Exercise Tips: Move Your Body - Boost Your Productivity

Do you find yourself setting a New Year's Resolution (every... Read More

Tips To Deal with Exercise Induced Asthma

For approximately 80-90% of people that suffer from asthma, exercise... Read More

Current Recommendations are 30-60 Minutes of Exercise, Everyday?

This is the latest advice to the public and many... Read More

Get Fit From Home-Part 2

--------------------- Using The Stairs ---------------------Not everybody has stairs in their... Read More

Home Gyms with Free Weights

Having your own home gym with free weights is not... Read More

Invest in Your Health

What if a trusted friend were to tell you about... Read More

Stay Mentally Focused When Training

When you decide to exercise, try to really stick to... Read More

Keep Exercise Journals For Real Results

Always make sure to keep a detailed training journal. By... Read More

3 Exercises for Good Posture and a Six-Pack

These days many people spend a significant part of their... Read More

A 30-minute, Or Less, Full Body Workout

Most people do not have the time to do biceps... Read More

Exercise and Diet ? For Your Waistline

Caring for your body is the most important thing you... Read More

Best Abdominal Exercises to Get the Sexy Six Pack You Deserve

The key to getting those sexy abdominals lies mainly on... Read More

Burn that Fat - The Most Efficient and Effective Exercise Yet Devised by Man!

Rebounding: Health and Fitness BenefitsAs quoted by NASA, rebounding is... Read More

Strategies for Alleviating the Boredom Associated with Exercise

Just about every expert in the ADD field will tell... Read More

Exercise Tips

Exercise TipsThe most effective exercise regimen includes both strength training... Read More

Basic Abdominal Exercises

If it's six pack abs that you're after, daily abdominal... Read More

Exercise Motivation: 7 Sure-fire Tips

So you've begun an exercise program to get in shape... Read More