Intervals improve cardiovascular health equal with aerobic training

spinningI am sure most realize the benefits of regular exercise. Despite the literature suggesting the importance of an exercise program for preventing diseases and other health related issues, the facts are as a society we are getting further and further out of shape and becoming even more sedentary.

One reason I hear from many people is a lack of time. I can relate to that with two daughters who have so many activities, I also find it hard to make time. One mode of exercise I suggest to clients I have trained in person, 1-1 and in my women’s group class is to incorporate intervals, and actually High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).

HIIT has been shown to burn more fat while preserving muscle mass, decrease blood pressure, among many other numerous benefits. Well now it also has another added benefit, improving Cardiometabolic Health.  A study recently released looked to see if the same cardiovascular benefits could be derived from a short but intense bout of HIIT.

The study put two groups of previously sedentary men into a training program. Each group performed 3x per week cycling sessions.  One group did three sessions of 3 sets of 20 seconds of “all out” cycling sprints, with a two minute recovery. While the other group performed three sessions 45 minutes of steady cycling. At the end of the twelve week study the interval cycling group improved their Cardiometabolic Health equal to that of the steady cycling group without the time commitment.

I know a lot of my blog posts are about running. I am currently training for a specific race, actually races, so my training needs to be specific, thus my larger time commitment to various types of training runs. If your goal is overall health the case is made for intervals yet again. They key thing to remember here is the interval period needs to be at an intense level with the training session being shorter to get the true benefit.

Try incorporating intervals into your own training on a bike, elliptical, or running. Just get moving! It does not need to be a huge time commitment to take care of your health.