Interval training workouts are a great way to mix up your exercise routine. They can be done in short bursts, which is helpful when you don’t have a lot of time to workout. Read on for more about interval training, the benefits, and three interval training workouts for you to try.
If you’re short on time and want to get more out of your workout, without spending more time at the gym, then consider adding interval training workouts to your routine.
What is Interval Training?
Interval training consists of alternating short bursts of high-intensity exercise, or max effort, with low to moderate intensity rest stints. Compare this to steady-state or continuous aerobic exercise, which is endurance exercise (running, biking, swimming, etc) for more than 20 minutes at the same intensity.
Interval training allows you to accomplish the same amount of exercise “work” in less time. That could make workouts easier to fit into a busy day or open a time slot to add some strength training. If you can reduce your moderate 30-minute workout to 15 or 20 minutes of interval training, the cardiovascular benefit should be about the same.
Why Should I do Interval Training?
Interval training is an excellent way to fit in a quick workout, while still getting all the health benefits of cardio exercise.
You’ll accomplish more in less time.
Interval training allows you to accomplish the same amount of exercise in a shorter time period. This means that instead of a moderate 30-minute workout, you can get the same benefit from just 15 to 20 minutes of interval training. It makes it easier to fit exercise into a busy day.
You’ll make your heart stronger.
Experts used to think that the best way to improve your heart and lung function (or cardiovascular system) was to do continuous cardio exercise. Studies now show that shorter interval training workouts can improve your heart function as well as, if not better than, longer cardio sessions. Interval training helps improve your heart and lung capacity, which increases your endurance and energy during your normal day to day activities.
You’ll avoid getting bored.
The biggest complaint my clients have with exercise? “It’s so boring, I hate just sitting on a machine for 30 minutes”. With interval training, you’re changing your pace or intensity at least once or twice per minute, so it is tough to get bored. I find that it makes workouts go by faster since you have to change your pace so frequently. Plus, it’s easy to mix up your routine in order to keep boredom at bay.
Three Interval Training Workouts
Try these three interval training workouts, ranging from 10 to 15 minutes including warm-up and cool down. I use this simple interval timer app. You can also check out this list of ten different interval training apps from Greatist.
Workout #1: 15-Minute Interval Workout
This workout can be done on any piece of cardio equipment – a treadmill, elliptical, or bike – or can be done outdoors.
Workout #2: 10-Minute Treadmill Incline Intervals
Workout #3: Plyometric Interval Workout
If you are not currently exercising regularly, start slow and stop if you feel short of breath or any pain. If you have any health issue, see your doctor before beginning an exercise program.