Interval training is a great way to boost your metabolism and improve your cardiovascular health. In as little as 20 to 25 minutes, you can complete a comprehensive whole-body workout that produces many benefits for your health and performance.
On the elliptical, do a preprogrammed routine called the Sprint 8 to engage both your upper and lower body. If you do not have access to an elliptical machine you can also perform this routine on a stationary or recumbent bike. This workout is not recommended to be performed on a treadmill. Here is an example of the Sprint 8 routine to get you started:
Warm up for 3-4 minutes.
Go all out for 30 seconds – Increase speed and go as fast as you can for 30 seconds.
90 second cruise – Slow down, reduce your speed significantly until you are moving at a comfortable and calming pace.
Repeat 2 and 3 for a total of 8 times.
Cool down for 3-4 minutes.
You only need to do this workout 1-2 times a week to reap the dramatic health benefits of interval training, which include:
Lower overall cholesterol level and improved ratios
Activated twitch muscle fibers (slow, fast, and super-fast)
Increased Human Growth Hormone (HGH) levels by 1200-1300% for women and up to 2000% for men
Improved cardiovascular endurance
Remember to hydrate by drinking plenty of water before and after your workout. To prepare your body for recovery, make sure you also stretch your muscles. Completing a cool down routine that includes hydration and stretching will help prevent soreness and injury (see our post on The Best Way to Cool Down for tips on how to do an effective post-workout/cool down routine).