There is a type of training that uses intervals of activity and rest. It is called Intermittent Training, or simply IT.
This is a non-continuous technique of physical activity that incorporates moderate aerobic or anaerobic intervals of physical activity with active rest periods.
An example of this would be spacing regular walking between intervals of running or jogging. This type of activity incorporates rest into the exercise routine!
The activity and rest periods may be as short as 30 seconds or as long as six minutes. Intermittent training offers many benefits.
Researchers have found that this technique of physical activity affords equivalent aerobic benefits to continuous aerobic exercise with the added benefits of greater weight and body fat loss.30-31
Investigators measured the effects of continuous and IT training on aerobic capacity, body composition and blood lactate response in sedentary college-aged females.32
After an eight week training program, both the continuous training and IT groups had significant reductions in body weight and fat percentage, increase time to fatigue and increased aerobic capacity. However, the IT group had significantly lower blood lactate responses for each stage of their max exercise test. No improvement in the lactate response was seen in the continuous training group.
Additional research supporting this finding found that the after-exercise increase in calorie burn was greater with intermittent aerobic exercise than with continuous aerobic exercise.33 This increase in post exercise metabolism enhances weight loss.
Intermittent Training is appealing because it offers rest as a part of the exercise. You get exercise credit for the resting time too. It is a great way for someone to begin exercise who has been inactive. It is not as intimidating.
The fact that IT brings faster improvements in fitness and faster weight loss makes it the best choice for many people. Additional benefits include a positive influence on attitude toward physical activity, along with requiring less time and effort, thus building confidence. All of this makes IT training very appealing!
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