Weight loss is the primary exercise goal for many individuals, but many workout regulars struggle to see the results they want from their activity. In many cases this is simply a misunderstanding of what types of exercise encourage weight loss. You can work out for hours a day, but if your body is being forced to fuel this activity in a certain way, it won’t lead to effective calorie consumption. And without an increased need for calories, your body won’t burn up its fat reserves.
There are several ways to achieve this type of workout, which is more commonly referred to as cardio or aerobic exercise. One popular — and highly effective — means of triggering weight loss is an activity known as interval training.
What is interval training?
Don’t let the name intimidate you: Interval training is very easy. In the simplest terms, this type of training integrates short bursts of high-intensity activity among periods of lighter activity. This type of training can be implemented in a variety of activities, such as running, walking, swimming or bicycling, among others. The goal is that interval training can eventually improve both endurance and the explosive power of your muscles. And, of course, lose weight.
How will it help you lose weight?
Endurance exercise, which elevates the heart rate for a prolonged period of time, is key to stimulating weight loss. But performing an endurance workout consistently for long periods of time is difficult for many people — not just physically, but mentally as well.
Interval training is a solution to both of those challenges. The frequent changes of pace will help prevent boredom while providing short rest periods to help individuals recover from the high-intensity periods. Meanwhile, the body remains in motion and the heart rate stays elevated. Your endurance will increase, which will eventually allow you to successfully complete longer workouts — or to simply ramp up the intensity of your interval training.
How should I approach interval training?
Fortunately, you don’t need much new equipment to start interval training. A good pair of running or cross-training shoes is often advisable to make sure you’re comfortable and well-supported as your exercise demands change, and Adidas and other shoe manufacturers offer great, reliable options to choose from.
As you start interval training, don’t be afraid to start slow and gradually increase the length of your workout sessions as you get more comfortable and see your endurance increase. If you’re prone to boredom, you’ll probably be happy to find yourself more entertained in the course of your workouts.
And when it comes to defining the terms of the workout, you retain complete control. Although some recommend maintaining high-intensity workouts for two to three minutes before resting for the same amount of time, you’re welcome to change up these intervals however you’d like — just as long as your heart rate remains elevated.
For some, interval training can be a much-needed reprieve from the mental stagnancy that sometimes accompanies endurance exercise. But for anyone struggling with weight loss, interval training can serve as a game-changer. Don’t be afraid to incorporate this form of exercise and see whether or not it can give you a boost in reaching your training and weight loss goals.