Intervals have recently received a lot of attention due to new research. This research has shown that cardiovascular interval training can increase calorie expenditure and fat loss. This exercise format may also help to increase your endurance capacity. Intervals will also help to boost your metabolism throughout the rest of the day! AND it's fun!
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) has been the focus of several fitness fads, such as the Insanity workouts. Exercises are continued for 30-60 second intervals, and are followed by rest, then repeated. The recovery time varies between 60 and 10 seconds (depending on format, ie: 3:1, 2:1 or 1:1). These intervals are repeated throughout the entire workout.
These intervals can be done during your walk or run, on a trail or treadmill (speed or hill climbs), on a cycle or other piece of cardiovascular fitness equipment or with plyometric total body exercises (see your local gym schedule or personal trainer for ideas). Simply up your speed or resistance for 30-60 seconds, then bring it back to a lower moderate intensity for 10-60 seconds. Repeat for 30 minutes.
Intervals can be really difficult but they make time fly! This is the only way that I can get through a treadmill workout!
Make sure that you warm up properly and check with your health care provider if you have an injury or other condition that may not allow you to exercise.
So go get your interval on!
Photo courtesy of Sauce Headwear and Carlie Breen Photography.