Your goal may be to burn calories, but what you end up doing is wondering - How can a treadmill actually stop time and isn't this against the laws of physics?
If long, tedious workouts keep you from exercising, interval training may be just what you need. With these workouts, you work hard for a short period of time and, while working hard is...well...hard, knowing you only have to do it for a short time helps you feel better about it. During that hard interval, you're building endurance, increasing your anaerobic threshold and you end up burning even more calories for the rest of the day.
In fact, one study found that exercisers who did sprint workouts - Alternating five 30-second all-out sprints on a stationary bike with four minutes of recovery - burned an extra 200 calories in afterburn.
Here's the thing: You don't necessarily want to try all-out sprints if you're a beginner or you've never tried interval training before. In fact, all-out sprinting is very hard on the body and mind and something you should work up to gradually. The good news is, there are a variety of ways to do interval training that don't involve sprinting at all, such as this Beginner Interval Workout. Keeping your intervals aerobic can make the workouts more comfortable and help you work up to higher intensities, if that's your goal.
Now, if you want a real challenge, this Sprint Interval Workout has got it all. In this workout, your intervals do involve going all out for 30 seconds and resting for 4.5 minutes. This is an advanced workout and it's a tough one, so only try this 1-2 times a week to allow your body to recover.
Do you have a favorite interval workout? Leave a comment and tell us about it.