Maximize your work-out with interval training. It incorporates a lot of short bursts of high-impact cardio. Picking up the intensity the goal is to get heart rate up for short clips of time, and then back down to a slow or moderate pace.
Interval training is a very efficient way to increase your fitness quickly.
Many running, cycling and swimming race training plans incorporate intervals. But researcher Tim Church of the Pennington Biomedical Research Center says intervals aren’t just for athletes and fit people. Increasingly there’s interest in building them into the routines of older folks and those with chronic conditions such as diabetes or heart disease.
Interval Training For The Middle-Aged And Slightly Plump
Researchers have tried to find the most effective pacing for interval training. They’re focused on bringing the approach to folks who are pudgy around the middle and older than 40.
Studies have documented the benefits of 20-minute workouts on stationary bikes. Participants cycled three times per week. They alternated between 12 seconds of slow, gentle peddling and 8-second intense sprints, peddling as hard as they could.
In the 20-minute workout the actual hard exercise totaled just 8 minutes, so it’s not that much exercise but the payoff was significant.
Over the course of four months, participants lost an average of 6 pounds of body fat. By comparison, those who cycled at a steady pace for 40 minutes, without mixing in the interval sprints, lost less than 2 pounds.
Don’t Want To Cycle? There Are Alternatives
If cycling doesn’t interest you, try swimming, rowing or stair-climbing. If you like to walk, throw in some hills at a faster clip.
But it’s also important to recognize your limits, and to start out slowly. They advise people to check in with their physicians before starting any intense interval training, especially those who are managing a chronic condition.