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What is Interval Training?

When I first started running, I didn't think there would be any way that I could possibly become a runner that could really go any distance. I'm still not a great runner, however, Interval training has allowed me to become way better at building stamina. Interval training is the idea that you do short bursts of high-impact exercise with slightly longer bursts of low-impact exercise. Many elite athletes use interval training to become better at their sports. They're even popular exercise regimens such as HIIT (high intensity interval training) that specifically use it as the main idea. Let's look at some ways you can use interval training to build your stamina right now, and at any fitness level.


Interval training has been shown to Improve cardiovascular fitness- Good cardiovascular fitness means that your stamina will build and you can go harder and longer in your workouts.


Interval training is alternating bursts of high intensity workout with low intensity or rest periods- Simply put, interval training allows you to push yourself harder for short periods of time and then give yourself a rest, so that you can push yourself even harder.


Interval training is an ideal way to work out when you don't have much time-  Interval training allows you to work out harder for a shorter period.  This means that you can fit in a full workout in just 20 minutes every other day.  You should be able to break a sweat with this short high intensity workout.


How to make the most of your interval training time


Make sure to always warm up -  Because you will be doing high intensity working out, you will need to warm up and do some stretches before you start.


Use a timer-  Using a timer can help you make sure that you aren't pushing yourself too hard or resting for too long. It can also help you get through those high intensity portions of your workout.


Add weights to challenge yourself more-  if you find that your workouts are getting too easy try adding some weight to challenge yourself further.


Don't make your intervals too long-  An interval shouldn't be any longer than 60 seconds.  Ideally, you want them to be closer to 20 or 30 seconds for high-intensity and 1 minute for rest periods.  You don't want to do long periods of high intensity because you will get tired far too quickly and not be able to push yourself to your limits for the entire duration of your workout.


Grab a partner-  One way to make high-intensity workouts fun and more effective is to grab a partner. One of my favorite high-intensity workouts is to grab a medicine ball, and toss it back and forth between my husband and I as fast as we can as part of our high-intensity portion of our workout. This can be done with a wall but it might get kind of loud. Having a partner for high intensity workout also helps to have a built-in support as well as someone to push you further when you feel like giving up.


Read more by Christine here.

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