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The Benefits of Interval Training

By Dr. Michael Ellman on April 28, 2015 in Exercise, Healthy Living
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Most people believe that the best type of exercise is running or walking long distances. Doing so provides terrific aerobic conditioning opportunities, helping to lower our heart rate, cholesterol and blood pressure.

But studies are showing that interval training actually can provide more benefits than straight aerobics.

Aerobic interval training can provide you with the following terrific benefits:

  • You’ll improve your aerobic capacity so that when you do go on long runs, walks or bicycle rides, you’ll be able to exercise longer and with more intensity.
  • You’ll burn more calories because the harder your exercise – even if it’s in “just” short bursts – means you’ll be expending more calories.
  • You don’t need special equipment. You’ll be doing your regular aerobic exercise; just modify your current aerobic routine to include short bursts of more intense work. Walk much faster for a minute or two, or run at a 6.5 mph rate rather than a 6 mph rate, and so on.
  • It will be harder to become bored with your aerobic exercise since you’ll be changing it up every now and then.

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Interval training requires no special equipment – you simply exercise harder in short bursts before returning to your usual aerobic pace.

To use interval training so that you get the most benefit of it, follow the tips below:

  • Make sure you warm up for at least two or three minutes.
  • Consider increasing the intensity of exercise by about 30 seconds, then go back to your normal pace for a minute or so.
  • Then give a burse of intensity that’s not as strong as the first one and stay at this pace for two or three minutes.
  • Then alternate the extremely fast, short bursts with longer intensity bursts – that aren’t quite as intense – with your regular pace.

And that’s pretty much it.

If you haven’t been exercising regularly for at least a month or more, it’s wise to check with your Dallas physician before starting interval training. Also, be careful when you perform the intensity burst. If you normally run at 6 mph and go for even 30 seconds at 8 mph, you put yourself at some risk of injuring muscles, tendons and even bones. Take it easy at first to ascertain what your body can handle and what it can’t. This isn’t to say that you never should run in bursts of 8 mph; just work your way up to it.

For more information on interval training, contact the top rehab service in the Dallas area, Ellman Rehab Associates. Contact us by calling 972-682-3909 or send us an e-mail message.

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