By Marina Aagaard, MFE
Stay fit and healthy without wasting time. Even if you are travelling, on holiday or have a busy life with little time for exercising, you need to take care of your health, the foundation of fitness, wellness and performance. The good news is, that you can have great results with minimal time investment. The number one option is:
- Interval training (yes, it’s for you, no, it’s not just for athletes)
Interval running on the Zaton Holiday Resort, Croatia, (soft) running track. Nice .
As the saying goes: With interval training you will double your results in half the time!
Or something to that effect …
The definition: A series of repetitions of a work period (higher intensity) followed by a rest period (low intensity).
The (active) rest periods are crucial to succes; you need to recover in order to put just as much energy into the next work period: So no push-ups etc. during rest periods, that is not interval training.
More and more recent research points to interval training for just 3-4 minutes per time/week as enough for becoming healthy and fit and even loose weight.
In reality, though, this is too little, as you need 1) a warm-up and cool-down and 2) to train at higher intensities, than most will be able to, to get the mentioned results.
Interval training is, however, the number one way to get fit fast for everybody. Interval training is not just very high intensity training. It is interval work at intensities higher than during continuus exercise. This means, that exercising just a little harder than you normally do will work!
Of course, if you are in shape, you should work at high intensity to get even better results.
There are numerous ways to do interval training and it can be tailor-made to meet specific needs. You can have short intervals or long intervals or fartlek, various speeds and intensities. All intervals, though, will improve your cardiovascular fitness and body composition.
If you are new to interval training try these super-easy sample programs:
- 5 repetitions: 1 : 1 min., e.g. jog for 1 minute, walk for 1 min.: 10 min. ex. warm-up.
- 10 repetitions: 30 : 30 sec., e.g. jog for 30 sec., walk 30 sec.: 10 min. ex. warm-up.
- From lamppost/tree to lamppost/tree: Run/jog/powerwalk as fast as you can.
Then walk, focus on breathing, to the next lamppost/tree. Repeat 5-20 times.
Try it. What do you think?