With little time to exercise and far too high of treat consumption, intervals are a necessity for me this holiday season. It's possible to burn the same amount of calories in twenty minutes doing an interval workout as you would doing a steady-paced workout for forty minutes. But that's not all. After an interval workout your body burns calories at a higher rate for almost twenty-four hours. Also, there's been research that shows participants who included two-three interval workouts a week lost five times more body fat.
An interval workout basically means that you alternate pushing hard and going back to a moderate pace. Basically anything you can do that will increase your heart rate and get you breathing hard (add an incline, up the intensity, increase your pace). The key is to make your body work hard then give it a small break while you catch your breath. I like to time my intervals so I know I'm getting the best workout possible. I do one minute sprints followed by two-three minutes of jogging or I do a thirty seconds sprint, thirty seconds walk, thirty seconds jog. I repeat the intervals at least 4-7 times. You can time them however you like or you can just go on rating of perceived exertion and push yourself until you want to quit and then back off until you're ready to go again. I find the timing works well for me because I wouldn't go again!
How do you like to pace your interval workout? Have you personally seen the effectiveness of intervals?