Interval training is a great way to get over an exercise plateau, train for a sport, or just improve your endurance and ‘wake up’ your metabolism. There are many forms of interval training, but the principle is the same: alternate between high and lower intensities during your cardio session. As the name suggests, interval training involves time intervals: you can work at varying time intervals, whether they are 30 seconds, 1 minute, or longer.
One example of interval training can be done when jogging: try to sprint for 45 seconds, then jog for a minute, then sprint again for 45 seconds, then jog for another minute. Continue alternating sprints and jogs, or sprints and walking intervals.
Here is another example: next time you are on a stationary bike at the gym, set the bike for a manual program and alternate your resistance level every minute. For one minute pedal at a high intensity level, follow that with a one minute low intensity/recovery level, back to one minute higher intensity, one minute low...etc.
Interval training can be done daily and for varying time periods of your cardio routine. If you are new to exercise try just 10 to 15 minutes of interval training a few times per week (work it into your regular cardio routine). Always do a 5 to 10 minute warm up at a low intensity before trying interval or any higher intensity cardio training.
Always consult a physician before beginning an exercise program. Discontinue an exercise if you feel any pain or discomfort.