Most people who work out on a regular basis stick to a schedule that consists of moving from one exercise directly to another without pausing or resting for the duration of their routine.
An alternative work out originally developed for high performance athletes is known as fitness interval training and consists, in simple terms, of intense exercise periods followed by periods of low intensity or rest.
Interval training allows the body to build new capillaries leading to a better ability to deliver essential oxygen to strengthen muscles, including the heart muscle.
This and other changes in the make up of muscles leads to a strengthening of the cardiovascular system and enhanced performance.
A further benefit is the build up of resistance to injury that can occur with repetitive, continuous exercises, lowering the risk of overstraining or exercise burn out.
It is recommended that a continuous training work out should not be abandoned but incorporated with an interval training routine as both have very positive aids to fitness and general health.
The same precautions should be taken for developing an interval training program as for a continuous exercise routine.
It is best to get professional help, probably from your local gym, if you are a newcomer to this form of exercise. It is easy to overstep the mark by giving yourself to intensive a schedule to start with, so if you do it yourself take it easy and be aware of the following safe precautions: –
- Always warm up before starting your exercise routine.
- Start interval training cautiously. For example a fast 3-minute walk followed by 3 minutes at gentle walking pace and repeat.
- You should aim to increase your heart rate during the intensive activity period and to bring it down to normal in the rest interval.
- Develop your periods of intense exercise cautiously over a period, increasing the duration followed by intensity in gradual steps.
- Work on building the number of repetitions as you develop your interval training work out.
- Always remember to set your interval training goals within your abilities and comfort zone. You will soon feel that your increasing endurance and stamina will allow you to set higher goals.
- For beginners and novices the intervals between intense exercise and rest should be between two and five minutes, any longer should be left to highly trained athletes enjoying qualified professional advice.
As an added bonus interval fitness training can work wonders on reducing overweight, this is because the increased blood supply to the body helps burn off unnecessary fat at the same time as the muscles strengthen.
So for a trim, sleek, fit and toned body, think interval training.
We recommend that you seek advice from a qualified fitness trainer before developing an interval training program.
Category: The Effects of Exercise