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What is interval training?

What is interval training?

Exercise at higher and lower intensities.

Interval training means alternating between periods (intervals) of higher intensity exercise and lower intensity exercise.

Example:

Alternate between periods of brisk walking or jogging (higher intensity) and periods of walking or jogging at a slower pace (lower intensity).

The lower intensity interval is often called recovery. The purpose is to allow your body to recover from the higher intensity interval and prepare for the next one.

Intervals can be measured in time or distance:

  • Time

    Intervals are performed for a given period of time. For example, alternate between walking or jogging at a brisk pace for 2 minutes and walking or jogging at a leisurely pace for 2 minutes.

  • Distance

    Intervals are performed for a given distance. For example, alternate between walking or jogging at a brisk pace for ¼ mile and walking or jogging at a leisurely pace for ¼ mile.

Vary the speed or resistance/incline (for a given time or distance):

  • Speed

    Vary the speed of your intervals. For example, walk or jog at a faster pace during your higher intensity interval and recover at a slower pace.

  • Resistance/Incline

    Vary the resistance (on an elliptical machine or stationary bike for example) or incline (on a treadmill). For example, walk or jog at a higher incline on the treadmill during your higher intensity interval and recover at a lower incline.

You can vary the incline of your intervals outside by walking up a hill for your higher intensity interval. There are many benefits of interval training including burning more calories and improving your fitness level.

The amount of time, distance, speed, or resistance depends on your personal level of fitness. The higher the intensity of your intervals, the less time you’ll be able to maintain them and the more recovery time you”ll need.




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FitnessforWeightLoss.com was created by Stephanie Averkamp, a recognized health and fitness professional and sole-author of the content on this website. Stephanie's approach to weight loss emphasizes making small, realistic, and permanent lifestyle changes. Read more...

Stephanie Averkamp

Our Approach: Short-term solutions (like dieting) are unrealistic and ineffective because at some point they end. As soon as a diet or program ends, so do the results. Permanent weight loss is a journey; it's not a race or competition and there is no finish line. Read more...