Walk, run, repeat
Research shows that interval training can improve cardiovascular health and whip you into shape faster than doing only steady-paced, moderate workouts. With its short bouts of challenging exercise, you crush lots of calories during intervals and sometimes for hours afterwards due to an elevated metabolism, or “after-burn.” “These high-intensity intervals disturb the metabolism to the point where, after the workout, the body is trying to recover and return to homeostasis. This requires energy and calories, which is the after-burn effect,” explains Jon-Erik Kawamoto, a personal trainer and owner of JKConditioning in St. John’s.
Weaving running and walking together also reduces the risk of overuse injury on muscles and joints. “Intervals are great if you want to pick up the intensity of a workout but you’re not yet ready for running the entire time,” says Kawamoto. Already a runner? Intervals will step up your workouts while saving your joints from extended high-impact activity.
Choose from our three workouts (see “Pick Your Workout” on the next slide), designed for different fitness levels-and do them on two to three non-consecutive days each week. They’re great for outdoors, but you can always hop on a treadmill, too. Complement these workouts with non-interval sweat sessions, such as cycling, on other days of the week. Weave in strength training as well, either on its own or paired with cardio workouts. As always, check with your doctor before starting a workout program.