Intervals are brief periods (about one minute) of more intense exercise
mixed into your regular aerobic exercise sessions. For example, if
you are walking, you would do one minute interval of faster walking about
every five minutes throughout your exercise session.
Start with your normal three to five minute warm-up and then five
minutes into your workout you do your first interval, one minute of faster
walking, jogging, using a cardiac machine at the gym. At the end of that minute
you should be "winded" and ready to slow down.
You'll slow down to your normal exercising speed for the next four minutes
and then your fifth minute is another one minute interval. This
pattern continues for the rest of your workout.
Intervals increase your aerobic fitness level. While doing your
interval you cross the anaerobic threshold into anaerobic metabolism,
forcing your body to become conditioned to more intense
exercise. Your increased level of fitness means that you will
be less fatigued from daily activities and have more energy throughout the
Intervals increase your basal metabolic rate (BMR), causing you to burn
more calories 24 hours-a-day. Intervals cause you to
"burn" more calories during your exercise session and for
several hours afterwards.
Intervals will tone the involved muscles to a greater degree than your
regular aerobic exercise would. Intervals can also make your
exercise less monotonous and help the time pass more quickly.
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