Fat-Burning Intervals

If you aren't realizing the results you want with your current cardio routine, here's a concept that many experts believe keeps your body burning calories even after your workout has ended. It's called interval training, and involves varying the level of intensity from start to finish.

A basic example of applying interval training to treadmill work would be to warm up for 3 to 5 minutes at a low-intensity jogging pace, slowly increasing your intensity as you near the end of this period, then kicking your effort into gear with moderate to high intensity running for a minute or two before reverting back to a minute or two of lower-intensity jogging. This fast/slow cycle would be repeated 5 to 7 times before a 3 to 5 minute low-intensity cooling down period.

The Bigger Picture: Interval training mimics the action of many sports, like tennis and football, where athletes are subjected to periods of intense energy expenditure followed by other periods of walking or standing still. Some trainers believe that you can realize benefits with just 20 minutes of interval training. As you increase your strength and endurance, you can try a longer duration. Interval training also has applications in elliptical machine workouts where resistance selection can be easily changed.
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