When we think of improving cardiovascular fitness, most of us think about endurance running i.e. running for a long period of time at a consent speed. But for some, this can be challenging and prove to be not so beneficial, as sustaining a consent speed may not be achievable over a long period. So what if there was a more effective way to improve our cardiovascular fitness?
The concept of high-intensity interval training involves performing small bouts of high intensity exercise (e.g. running), coupled with a low intensity rest bout (e.g. walking). This allows the body to partially recover between exercise bouts and therefore we are able to sustain exercise for longer. Accordingly, we can achieve both cardiovascular and skeletal muscle adaptations whilst increasing energy expenditure. This concept can be utilised with any cardio equipment (eg. treadmill, x-trainer, rower, cycle). Below are some examples of high-intensity interval training protocols.
Treadmill: 3 minutes walking @ 6km/h : 2 minute running @ 9km/h
Cycle: 1 minute cycle @ level 5 : 30 seconds cycle @ level 9 (maintaining a consent RPM)
Rower: 30 seconds fast rowing : 30 seconds slow rowing
It is important to make sure you check with your Exercise Physiologist to determine if this form of exercise is suitable for you.