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Interval Training: Continually Improve Your Fitness

September 6, 2011 by Marc Faktor, Certified Exercise Physiologist

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When writing last week's blog, I just couldn't get interval training off my mind as I think it's one of the best ways to improve fitness and cut down exercise time!

Interval training combines short bursts of activity at higher intensities, called intervals with periods of lower intensity or rest periods. It stimulates our cardiovascular and musculoskeletal systems in a safe, efficient and progressive manner. It allows us to bring our body to a level it's not used to working at for short durations which promote continual adaption.

Most people can't work out at a high intensity for a prolonged period of time, BUT we certainly can tolerate higher intensities for 15-45 second intervals. These higher intensities allow us to "shock", "prime" or "overload" our cardiovascular system safely and efficiently.

Heart Failure Example: These individuals cannot exercise continuously for five minutes but surprisingly enough they can tolerate 15-45 second intervals. By interval training, their bodies and cardiovascular systems are forced to adapt to the increased demand which results in great benefits. Over time they're able to increase their exercise capacity thanks to these many short higher intensity bouts separated with very low intensity recovery periods.

NOTE: To improve aerobic fitness, we need to continually challenge ourselves to work above a certain threshold (approx> 70 per cent max).

Interval training provides us with this opportunity for continual progression while minimizing risk for injury and maximizing efficiency.

How would a typical interval training workout look? Check out my next blog to find out!

If you can't wait till next week contact The Physical Activity Line at  www.physicalactivityline.com  for further information and advice on interval training for YOU!

Do you use interval training? If so, I encourage you to share your thoughts with the community.

Keep Positive, Keep Smiling, and KEEP MOVING!

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