Alternating intervals of low-intensity and high-intensity exercise can help burn more total calories in a shorter time, reducing the amount of time you need to spend exercising each week.
What is Interval Training?
Interval training combines short bursts of intense exercise (30 seconds) with longer periods of low-intensity (1-2 minutes) exercise. What “intense” exercise means is relative to your fitness level – for example, it could be 30 seconds of jogging mixed with one minute of walking, or even 30 seconds of brisk walking with two minutes of walking at a moderate pace.
What are the Benefits of Interval Training?
Burn More Calories
Increasing the intensity of your workout will result in burning more calories. You won’t spend a lot of time in the Fat Burning Zone, but you’ll burn more calories overall, which is the biggest factor in losing weight.
Decrease Time Exercising
Interval training is ideal for people with less spare time. The recommendation for 2 ½ hours of exercise each week assumes exercising at a moderate activity level. A more rigorous activity such as interval training can reduce the recommended amount of time per week to 75 minutes (1.25 hours).
Improve Cardiovascular Health
Intense exercise improves your cardiovascular and aerobic capacity, which will improve your overall fitness level and reduce your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure.
Are There Risks to Interval Training?
Interval training is adaptable to many fitness levels, however interval training is a more intermediate exercise technique and is not recommended for beginners. More intense interval training (also called High Intensity Interval Training or HIIT) can work in push-ups, squats, jumping jacks, burpees, and other exercises where proper training and form becomes essential to preventing injury. If you have a chronic health condition, speak with your doctor before starting an interval training program.