You may have seen the term "interval training" and wondered what it is. There are many fitness and wellness trends that come and go and even more to remember. Interval training, however, is here to stay.
Interval training is becoming extremely popular because it is something that everyone can do. It is something that an elite athlete can do during training and it is also something that the couch potato can start during their very first workout.
If you are thinking of hitting the Mount Hood trails this weekend, the track at Fred Green Field or braving the heat on the streets of Melrose, you may want to try interval training and see how your body responds.
This is a method of training where you vary the intensity of your exercise after a brief warm up period. A popular method of interval training occurs when people begin a cardiovascular routine but find that intense running or biking is too strenuous. The Couch to 5-K program is a popular beginner training program that helps you use interval training to prepare for a goal of running a 5-K race.
Interval Training is not just limited to beginner exercisers. Interval training has long been used by elite athletes training in their specified sport.
"Although more attention is usually given to the period of activity during an interval workout, the training stimulus occurs during the recovery period," Dr. Jason Karp explains. "It is during this phase that the heart rate declines at a proportionally greater rate than the return of blood to the heart, resulting in a brief increase in stroke volume (SV), or the amount of blood that the heart pumps with each beat."
Experts are beginning to recommend and favor interval training to regular sustained cardiovascular training for much of the population.
Studies have shown that interval training increases your cardiovascular endurance. It can take only weeks for interval training to start showing improvements in your exercise routine as opposed to longer durations of time with sustained cardiovascular activity.
Interval training is also beneficial for overall weight loss and fat loss. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, more calories are burned during short, high intensity exercise.
Interval training can also help with the mental aspects of training. The varying of the pace during your workouts can help the body work through the overload process that often exists in long sustained workouts.
Interval training is not just limited to cardiovascular exercise either. You can practice interval training in many sports as well as with resistance training.
As with any form of fitness routine it is important to exercise caution when beginning a new program. Check examples online to gauge the appropriate starting point to begin your interval training program.