Interval Training for a Fast Workout

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Clear your schedule for more fun. By replacing your tedious early morning run with interval training, you’ll stay healthy and fit without filling up your calendar.

We all know that exercise is important for our health. Prolonged inactivity can lead to a whole range of medical conditions, such obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. But fitting in even the 30 minutes, 5 days a week, of moderate exercise recommended by the American Heart Association can be challenging.

Interval training may be the work-out that your busy life is sorely lacking. Provided you are willing to work hard, even if it’s just in short bursts.

Competitive athletes often use interval training to boost their speed and endurance. Researchers at McMaster University in Canada modified this regimen to see what kind of benefit it would have for sedentary people and ones with heart disease.

The study participants cycled in one-minute intervals at 90% of their maximum heart rate, with a rest in between. They repeated each set 10 times, for a total of only 20 minutes.

This is the only exercise they did during the week. All of people, even the ones with heart disease, showed improvements in the functioning of their blood vessels and heart. Not only that, they all were happier with the shorter workout.

Others studies have shown this method can also improve how your body regulates blood sugar levels.

If you have time to fit in your regular workout, keep up with that. There are still clear benefits to longer periods of moderate exercise. But if you’re running late for work—or a post-work date—try doing 10 sets full-out on the stairs at the gym instead. You’ll be stepping out of the shower while your running buddies are still circling the track.

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