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Interval Training Helps With Weight Loss

Even More Evidence That Interval Training Rocks

"Interval training" may sound fancy, but you don't have to be a 20-something fitness fanatic to pull off this pro method. Anyone can incorporate intervals into workouts, and new research out of Australia proves that interval training is a great weight-loss tool even as we age.

In the University of New South Wales study, people who used intervals in their cycling workouts lost three times more weight on average than people who pedaled at a steady pace. That's a pretty convincing argument in favor of intervals, as if I needed more reasons to interval train. Find out more about the study.

The data involved participants over the age of 40 who rode stationary bikes for 20 minutes three times a week. The interval cyclists swapped 12 seconds of slow-paced riding with eight-second, full-powered sprints. Here's more:

Over the course of four months, participants lost an average of 6 pounds of body fat. By comparison, those who cycled at a steady pace for 40 minutes, without mixing in the interval sprints, lost less than 2 pounds.

UNSW professor Steve Boutcher suspects it has something to do with catecholamines, the chemical compounds that tell the fat cells to release fat — and which our bodies seem to produce more of during sprints. Even if the effectiveness of intervals remains somewhat mysterious, it's hard to ignore data like that, whether you're 25, 35, or 45.

Just another reminder that little sprints can pay off big time. Do you incorporate intervals into your workouts? Get some guidance with my Get It Up interval routines.

Image Source: Getty
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littlekaren littlekaren 6 years
I just did this! I REALLY like it. More than I expected to!! I've been jogging regularly for 6 months or so (ran my first 5K this summer) and sometimes have to really fight the monotony of jogging. Today, believe it or not, I found myself looking forward to the sprinting part of the Fartlek (sp?). I did a more even routine than what was suggested in the previous story by FitSugar... walk, jog, SPRINT. walk, jog, SPRINT, over and over. Hopefully that still counts and does LOTS of fat burning! THANK YOU SO MUCH for this new workout!
amybdk amybdk 6 years
There was a story about this on NPR yesterday. I think this: Over the course of four months, participants lost an average of 6 pounds of body fat. By comparison, those who cycled at a steady pace for 40 minutes, without mixing in the interval sprints, lost less than 2 pounds. is really fascinating!
fortheloveofrock fortheloveofrock 6 years
so awesome
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