Interval training (alternating between fast and slow paces) is one of the best ways you can torch calories and strengthen your heart. Moreover, if you’re someone who easily gets bored by exercise, intervals may be your perfect solution because they require your mind to be fully engaged. Not only do you need to concentrate on reps and shifting sets, but you’re also constantly working different muscle groups and must pay attention to both form and function. The benefits of interval training are therefore multifaceted. Intervals can help:

  • Boost your cardiovascular endurance
  • Keep your mind focused and engaged
  • Work various muscle groups
  • Challenge you in short bursts, adding a bit of a fun gaming element to the workout
  • Improve your performance in activities of daily living and various sports

How you structure your interval training will depend on your level of fitness. Switching between walking slow and then fast qualifies as an interval just as does alternating between walking and running. The time as well as pace of your intervals can also vary depending on your ability, goals, and total workout time.

Here’s one of my favorite treadmill interval workouts (you can do this on any machine or with any outdoor exercise-elliptical, bike, swimming, stair master, rowing…etc.) when I only have about 30-minutes to spare.

  • Walk at 4.7mph for 5 minutes
  • Run 2 miles at 6.8mph (6.5 on a slow day)
  • Walk for 2 minutes at 4.7mph
  • Run at 8.0 mph for 1 minute
  • Walk at 4.7 for 1 minute
  • Run at 8.0 mph for 1 minute
  • Walk at 4.7 for 1 minute
  • Run at 8.0 mph for 1 minute
  • Walk at 4.7 for 1 minute
  • Cool down for 2 minutes at any slow pace