This is the second part of an article that began with Interval Training for Health and Weight Loss. If you haven’t already you might like to read that article first to learn about how to safely ease into interval training. Here we will examine to more benefits the interval training can provide.

Metabolism boost and weight loss
Metabolism is the process by which your body converts the food you consume into energy. Interval training is a scientifically proven method to train your body to burn more calories (Metabolism (1994) Volume 43, pp.814-818). This has been shown in studies by Angelo Tremblay, Ph.D., at the Physical Activities Sciences Laboratory, Laval University, Quebec, Canada.

The benefits of intense interval training come after the training is finished. Due to the metabolic boost much more calories and fat are burned for a period following the workout. If you include resistance as part of your interval training such as by using a kettlebell you will also build muscle, which again increases how many calories your body burns.

As a direct effect of increased metabolism the body functions at a higher level of efficiency. Circulation also improves and the rate of repair and healing increases and the immune system is raised to a higher level of efficiency. This can lead to an overall improvement in health and wellbeing.

Heart health
As someone who had open-heart surgery I have a very serious interest in what makes for a healthy heart. In the book Lights Out by medical researchers T.S. Wiley and Bent Formby Ph.D I was interested to read that the image of a constant orderly heartbeat as being healthy is incorrect. In fact a sick heart has a tempo that is slow, steady and unvarying.

With a healthy heart rhythm there are speedups and slowdowns minute-to-minute and hour-to-hour. Healthy heart rhythm is an example of chaotic rhythms such as sunspots or oscillations of El Nino. Chaotic. Not random. Healthy heartbeats are thought to be highly chaotic because a chaotic system is more adaptable. In this way a healthy heart is highly dynamic. Always fluctuating in response to small influences so as to maintain homeostasis.

What does all this have to do with interval training? Interval training is a fantastic way to place good stress upon your heart in a controlled manner. This will improve the adaptability of your heart to sudden stress and so improve the health of your heart.

At the beginning of an interval training session your heart is probably beating at a warmed up rate. With the sudden burst of a short but intense interval of exercise your heart rate climbs dramatically. Then while you take a short rest your heart begins to recover and slow down. That is until you perform another interval of exercise, which sends your heart rate back up again. And so forth.

Please remember, do not attempt high-intensity intervals unless you are already in good condition. This is not the sort of exercise beginners should be doing. Take the time to develop your aerobic base first. To keep you motivated with your current exercise program, knowing the benefits, you might like to have interval training as a goal to work towards.

For my own personal interval training I use kettlebells. You can read about my kettlebell workout and if you’re interested in starting with kettlebells you might like to read my Kettlebell Buyer’s Guide for Kettlebell Beginners.

Please share your experience with interval training and some of the different types of interval training you might have tried by leaving a comment.

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