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Interval Training: Why Longer isn't Always Better When it Comes to Exercise

By HERWriter
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There is no question that even fitness professionals as well as elite athletes get in a fitness rut. Some days that piece of exercise equipment can be your nemesis with long bouts of cardio looming and feeling like it will never be completed.

While, I encourage exercise and believe it should be something you look forward to, there are days where I have to get creative and “switch it up”. One of the ways that I like to do that is interval training. Interval training will have you looking at your treadmill, elliptical or bike with fresh eyes. You’ll be excited to jump on and get started. Here is how interval training works: instead of doing an entire hour of straight cardio at the same pace, try doing interval training for 30-40 minutes. For example, do a 20 30-second bout of cardio at a high intensity, followed by a 60 second rest period. Repeat that interval for the duration of the workout.

Interval training not only contributes to better results, it is also more efficient. You won’t be able to sustain that level of intensity endurance wise for the same amount of time. Therefore, on interval training days you’re saving yourself approximately 20-30 minutes! By saving the time however, you’re not short changing yourself. The results are significant and interval training can also be a huge boost to your metabolism, allowing you to breakthrough a plateau. A plateau is when you’ve hit a wall in your progress and you cannot breakthrough to the next threshold. It is at this time that you should up your intensity level.

A plateau in your weight loss efforts or progress is normal. The importance is to build variety such as interval training into your routines. There are also things you can do on your own to break through a plateau. If you do not vary your cardio routine your body will eventually run on cruise control. Try new cardiovascular activities, for example if you always ride a stationary bike, why not try an elliptical trainer. If you’ve been mainly walking outside try varying your terrain and add some hills into your routine. These changes will shock your body yielding results and a higher fitness level.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.



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