(NaturalNews) While many people wish to lose weight, healthy weight loss calls for consistency, dedication and time - the latter of these being a precious commodity. Researchers have shown that Interval Training (IT) can dramatically shorten workout sessions and maximize weight loss for those on a tight schedule.
With sessions lasting generally from 10-40 minutes, Interval Training is a method of exercise that calls for alternating periods of high intensity activity and low intensity recovery stints. There are different protocols such as the Tabata method popularized by the research of Dr. Izumi Tabata. Different protocols set out the length of the exertion and rest times - some call for a 2:1 ratio while others claim that a 3:2 ratio is more effective at burning fat.
Regardless of the finer details, the general concept of Interval Training has been proven to be more efficient at overall fitness and endurance of both professional athletes and the general public. A study was conducted by J. L. Talanian et al, Dept. of Human Health and Nutritional Sciences, University of Guelph in Canada, on women between 22 and 65 years old. It was shown that two weeks of High Intensity Interval Training increased fat oxidation by 36 percent and these results did not depend on the fitness level of the subjects before starting the study.
Why does Interval Training work so well?
Interval Training is believed to be as effective for fat loss because of the hormonal response that it elicits. It has been observed under study that testosterone, Insulin Growth Factor-I, and growth hormone were increased in subjects involved in Interval Training. An additional by-product of IT has been described by some as a decrease in feelings of hunger throughout the day, which can aid in fat loss.
A sample workout
A 15 minute sample workout could be as follows:
* 3 minutes warm-up walk * 30 seconds maximum intensity sprint followed by a one minute rest/low intensity jog repeated six times * 3 minute cool down walk
As there is no definitive protocol, the lengths of each phase can be adjusted to suit a person's fitness level. The only aspect of IT practice that seems to be agreed on is that the maximum intensity spurts must be all out exertion for the subject to get the maximum gain.
To keep time, an interval timer attached to your clothes may be used, or interval timing software for a smartphone may be convenient. For best results, workouts should be two to three sessions per week, and last no longer than 40 minutes per session.
As with any proven method, there is a tradeoff to be made - what Interval Training lacks in terms of time is made up for in intensity. This type of exercise is not for persons prone to medical conditions that do not tolerate high heart rates, as it does tax the cardiovascular system by pushing the individual to their physical limits multiple times per workout session. If there is some risk of intense exertion being detrimental to an individual's well being, a medical professional should be consulted before attempting Interval Training. Additionally, persons who are new to exercising or out of shape should be more generous with the rest periods than someone who is at a higher fitness level.
No longer is there an excuse for not taking charge of your health and fitness. Interval Training needs no gym, no money, and only a little time.