Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Interval Training

Interval training is an amazing way to increase your cardiovascular health, get off a plateau and increase performance in day-to-day life or in a sport. It is sometimes called Guerilla Cardio or, by the Swedes, the Fartlek technique. It is to be used by intermediate or advanced exercisers, and done for the first few times after the permission of a physician and the overseeing of a personal trainer. An interval session involves a warm-up period, several short, maximum-intensity efforts separated by moderate recovery intervals, and a cool down period. At the beginning, the total time can be just five minutes and one can work themselves up to 40 minutes. Besides the above health benefits, it is proven to be more effective at burning calories compared to long duration, low intensity workouts.

Interval training is a way to improve your aerobic capacity, which is the ability of the body to remove oxygen from the air and transfer it through the lungs and blood to the working muscles. You will raise your anaerobic threshold, the point at which the body can no longer meet its demand for oxygen. Thus, you will be able to keep utilizing oxygen in aerobic respiration, which burns fat! And you will be able to work out harder and longer.

You can use many movements into interval training and incorporate it creatively into a cardiovascular or weight workout. You can walk or run slowly for some minutes, and then quickly, alternating speeds. The fast walk or sprint run can last about a minute. You can use climbing and descending stairs slowly and quickly, or use this quickly in between ten-minute cardiovascular session. You can incorporate walking, running and climbing stairs. Spin classes often use interval training by varying speed and incline.

Go past your comfort zone. But, as with everything else in working out, listen to your body. If real injury can occur, cool down or stop. You will see that each time, or every few times, that you do interval training, you will get better at it.

You can use a heart rate monitor to make sure that you stay in your target heart rate zone.

To find out more about the science of interval training, look it up at www.pubmed.gov.

Don't forget to check out www.louizapatsis.com!

Some information for this blog was obtained from http://www.bodytrends.com/articles/cardio/interval.htm
Accessed on December 6, 2005

Disclaimer: Information on this blog is posted for information purposes, not as a substitute for professional medical advice.

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