How interval training works to boost health
Interval training, or high intensity interval training (HIIT), is a way to pack the health benefits of exercise into a short amount of time. No matter what your fitness level. In this episode of NewsMD's "Health Fusion," Viv Williams talks to a Mayo Clinic exercise expert about why intervals are so effective.
ROCHESTER — High intensity interval training (HIIT) is all the rage right now and with good reason.
"Interval training is a form of exercise training," says Dr. Michael Joyner , an anesthesiologist and exercise physiologist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. "It is a period of harder effort interspersed with a period of easier effort."
Think brisk walking followed by strolling or running followed by walking or jogging.
"It's good for you because it's a very time efficient way to train," says Joyner. "And the high intensity part of the exercise really pushed your heart, your blood vessels and your muscles to make even more healthy adaptation to exercise training."
What are those healthy adaptations? Dr. Joyner says interval training causes healthy stress on your heart that makes it stronger. Plus, when the heart beats faster during the periods of hard effort, your blood vessels get stronger as do your muscles.
Interval training is beneficial for people of all fitness levels. For example, beginners can start at 15 seconds per interval and work up from there. But check with your healthcare provider to make sure you know what's safe for you.
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