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Making the Most of Your Workouts with Interval Training

Posted Nov 22 2012 11:00am

medium 238444227 300x214 Making the Most of Your Workouts with Interval Training Staying in shape presents many obstacles, especially if you work outside of the home. Add a lengthy commute, and you may find workout less than a priority in your life. One way you can get the benefits of exercise even with your demanding schedule is to trick out your workouts to maximize their health benefits.

Add some variety.
Following the same routine week after week allows your body to adapt. It becomes more efficient and thus, burns fewer calories. It simply learns to get by with burning fewer calories. To maximize calorie burn, you need to circumvent this normal body response. You can do this with interval training.

The concept is easy; you mix periods of low intensity exercise with high intensity one. This practice keeps your body from adapting to your actions, so your calorie burn stays high.

A study by Colorado State University and the University of Colorado found that interval training could burn an extra 200 calories a day. Over time, this could lead to substantial weight loss.

Overcoming the time crunch
Because you are exercising more intensely, you can get by with less time working out. This means that you can get health benefits from a 30-minute session, making exercise more achievable.

This workout plan offers a way to get the most out of your exercise time. A study by the University of Agder in Norway found that sessions interspersed with a few high-intensity intervals optimized training.

Making your plan
An 80/20 breakdown of low and high intensity intervals is a good target. The emphasis on low intensity gives your body time for active recovery. You’ll find that over time your endurance will increase.

You will be able to detect this effect by how quickly your heart rate settles down after a high-intensity interval. At first, you may find yourself a bit winded. As you become more fit, your recovery time will diminish.

Aiming for 30-minute workouts offers a schedule that most people can easily fit into their day. You probably spend at least that amount of time checking emails every day. With interval training, you can make the most of your precious time and reap the health benefits of regular workouts.

photo credit: toffehoff via photopin cc

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