Add Interval Training to Your Aerobic Workout

How would you like to cut your aerobic workout time in half, yet actually yield better fitness results? (I think that’s referred to as, “having your cake and eating it, too!”) Here’s how – and why – adding interval training to your aerobic workout can be an efficient and effective approach for you.

You’ve probably heard of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). This type of aerobic workout involves alternating high- and low-intensity exercise over a pre-determined period of time. I like a ratio of 1:3, high-intensity to low-intensity.

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The beauty of HIIT is that it doesn’t matter how you perform your aerobic workout. This approach applies to walking, running, biking (stationary or otherwise), stair climbing, treadmill, elliptical, etc. The next time you do your aerobic workout, instead of 20-30 minutes at a slow, steady pace, try this:

For your first session, plan for a 10 minute aerobic workout, not counting your warm-up (about 2 minutes, at a light-to-moderate pace). Trust me, this will be more challenging than you think, and you can always add intervals, as you are able.

– After your warm-up, divide 10 minutes into five (5), two-minute intervals.
– For the first interval, go as hard as you can (keep as aggressive a pace as you can manage) for 30 seconds.
– For the next 90 seconds, maintain a moderate, steady pace. (but don’t stop!) This is your active recovery phase. You’ve completed one (1) interval.
– Repeat, immediately, four (4) more times

aerobic-workout

HIIT is effective because, physiologically, short bursts of vigorous exercise (exertion) help to get fat out of “storage” and into the bloodstream, where it can be used as energy. Additionally, the body’s energy system that fuels low-intensity, cardiovascular exercise (the slow, steady pace I referred to, earlier) works at the expense of the energy system that fuels Strength training. High-intensity cardio won’t compromise your Strength training (muscle-building) results, and it will help to accelerate your fat loss.

Challenge yourself! Try interval training for your next aerobic workout!

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