You can do countless workouts that classify as ‘interval training,’ and the benefits of interval training will absolutely encourage you to start working them into your fitness routine.
For starters, interval training is a general term that ultimately means you alternate periods of short, intense exercise with less intense recovery periods over the course of your workout.
You can be more specific with the type of interval training you do, such as following guidelines for a HIIT workout (HIIT stands for ‘high intensity interval training’). An HIIT workout is more specifically defined by exercising at a very high intensity for a period of 30 seconds up to 2 minutes, followed by a period of 1-5 minutes recovery.
The important thing to take away from this article is that the benefits of interval training are awesome!
So take notes and apply interval training to your workouts STAT for results you won’t regret in the slightest.
Burn More Calories
In the same amount of time you spend in steady-state aerobic exercise (think: running at a moderate, consistent pace for 30 minutes) you can burn more calories by simply adding intervals.
To add intervals to a moderate cardio workout, try alternating a sequence such as upping your intensity for a minute (it’s only a minute – push hard!) and then reducing intensity to recover for another minute. Because you’re pushing your body to work at greater intensities, you will burn more both throughout the course of your workout… and after!
There are numerous reasons why, but two primary factors:
1) as you push harder, your heart rate is forced to increase… and when this happens, you burn more calories.
2) your muscles have to work harder to work at a higher intensity, which leads to greater calorie burn after as they have to work harder to recover as well.
More Enjoyable = Stick to it!
Another benefit of interval training is that it’s more enjoyable than steady-state exercise, overall. When something is more enjoyable, you’re less likely to get bored. And when you resist boredom, you’re more likely to stick with something. And, newsflash: when you stick with something, you’re more likely to see results!
With interval training, you’re constantly switching the pace or the actual exercise itself, which makes the time go quicker and gives you a more heart-pumping and satisfying workout that you’re more likely to stick with (hello endorphins).
Improve Heart Health
You can also improve heart health. Your heart is a muscle (and an important one!) and when you pump it to a greater intensity, you’re increasing the flexibility and elasticity of your heart’s vessels, which means they become stronger & more resilient.
One Final Word: Efficient
In interval training, you are adding an element of challenge to your workout that you don’t get in steady-state exercise. You’re not only burning more calories, but you’re burning fat and building lean muscle with interval training which leads to a leaner, healthier, more agile and fit physique.
You can boost your overall endurance, and get the same – or better – results, in less time with interval training than with steady-state exercise. And with a physique that continues to improve and become stronger, we improve our workouts and continue to see results. And we feel more confident because of our improved abilities and consistency.
Don’t read this wrong: this doesn’t mean you should cut out steady-state exercise altogether – benefits abound with these sessions too! But what you gain from interval training workouts make them a no-brainer to add to your routine.
An interval workout can last for as little as 7 minutes and as many as 60 minutes. Your intensities will vary depending on your fitness level and workout time, but intervals can be applied to any workout, or you can find and follow an interval workout that’s already made.
If you’d like a 15-minute HIIT workout to do with me, head to Amazon.com and search “15-minute HIIT” with Maggie Binkley. You won’t be disappointed!
Connect here with WatchFit expert Maggie Binkley