Life is a marathon, not a sprint. You’ve likely heard this saying before and chances are you will hear it again at some point in time or another. However, it doesn’t hurt to throw a little cardiovascular training into this marathon we call life. Interval training has its benefits – they have been studied, marketed and even have made national news headlines. Why? Interval training works.
In a study conducted in the Journal of Physiology, researchers found that 20 minutes of interval training – including 30 second burst followed up with four minutes of recovery – works. This type of training produces the same results of an hour and a half of moderate cardiovascular exercise. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition also reported similar findings. The list of research studies on the effectiveness of interval training goes on and on.
Interval training is great for your body and can help you burn calories. What’s not to like?
What if you’ve tried it and can’t seem to get results? Chances are you are not going at it hard enough or aren’t allowing enough time for recovery. As a general rule of thumb, you should aim to exercise between 85 and 90 percent of your maximum heart rate. This will help to give you the results you want. (Remember your maximum heart rate can be determined by subtracting your age from the number 220).
Moral of the story? Interval training works and fits well into even the busiest of schedules. Imagine cutting your workout from 90 minutes to 20 minutes. Sounds good, doesn’t it?