Interval Training Good for the Heart

There is nothing that burns fat more efficiently or gets you into better shape faster than interval training.

Intervals, or repeated, short, sharp bursts of strenuous activity, interspersed with rest periods can improve your heart and overall health, researchers found out recently.

Researchers at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, recently gathered several groups of volunteers. One consisted of sedentary but generally healthy middle-aged men and women. Another was composed of middle-aged and older patients who’d been diagnosed with cardiovascular disease.

The researchers tested each volunteer’s maximum heart rate and peak power output on a stationary bicycle. All of them were told toexercise exclusively with intervals.

Intervals are known for the one-minute strenuous exercise that often hits about 90 percent of a person’s maximum heart rate, followed by a one-minute recovery over the course of a workout.

Both of the groups that participated ended up showing significant improvements in heart and overall health, according to researchers.

Some of those benefits included the functioning of blood vessels and the heart. To get this type of result, some of the exercise can be pedaling a stationary bicycle or sprinting uphill for one minute, aiming to raise your heart rate to about 90 percent of your maximum. Pedal or jog easily downhill for a minute and repeat nine times, perhaps twice a week.

If you are interested in improving your cardiac health, talk to your certified Personal Trainer about starting any exercise program.

Here is an example of an interval training workout that I have my treadmill class students perform:

Warm up for 5 minutes
• Keep incline at 1% & run or sprint for 1 min.
• Recover for 1 minute
• Now run or sprint for 90 secs.
• Recover for 1 minute
• Now run or sprint for 2 minutes
• Recover for 1 minute
• Now run or sprint for 90 sec.
• Recover for 1 minute
• Run or sprint 1 min
• Recover for 3 minutes
Repeat 1X
HILL SPRINT INTERVALS 2 mins.on/ 2 mins off
• Bring incline up to 4%, run or sprint for 2 mins.
• Recover for 2 minutes:  walk but keep incline at 4%
Repeat 2X
• Bring incline down to 3% & jog for 5 minutes
• Recover for 5 minutes
• Bring incline up to 4% & jog for 5 minutes
• Recover for 5 minutes
• Bring incline up to 5% & jog for 5 minutes
• Recover for 5 minutes
Cool down & stretch

For more information on interval training, contact Maurie Cofman, C.E.S., Certified Personal Trainer in St. Louis, MO.