How Interval Training Can Improve Your Fitness

Photo Credit: Mike Baird CC-BY-2.0 2007
If you have reached a fitness plateau with your regular workout routine and you would like to get more from each workout, begin interval training. Interval training is alternating light intensity exercise with high intensity exercise. For example, if you regularly walk 30 minutes or more every other day, try walking for 10 minutes followed by 5 minutes of jogging or running and then 10 minutes of walking. Stretching and isometric exercises can be followed by a short burst of high intensity strength training like weight lifting. You can vary your exercise routine in any way that is comfortable for you. You may want to start off by including 20 to 30 seconds of high intensity exercises followed by 5 minutes of less strenuous activity. Interval training can take your fitness to the next level.
People who exercise using an interval training regime burn more calories than steady low to medium intensity exercise for the same length of time. You will lose weight faster or maintain your ideal weight better by burning  more calories during your regular workout. Interval training also improves cardiovascular health and capacity. Start off slowly and build up your strength over time until you can do equal intervals of low to medium intensity exercise and high intensity exercises. 

Intense exercise alone can cause muscle soreness. When you alternate your regular exercise with short periods of intense exercise, your muscle tissue stores less of the toxins and waste products that can cause you to feel sore. You will also have more energy by following an intense period of exercise with a period to cool down while still exercising your muscles. A personal trainer can help you design an interval training regime to help you meet specific goals, such as increasing your stamina or losing belly fat. Interval training can also be combined with functional training to improve athletic performance or strengthen and tone a specific muscle group. 

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