For some people, working to better one's cardiovascular fitness can be something of a bore.
It's not that these people don't love the notion of achieving better health and staying there, it's just that doing the same old workout time and time again can become monotonous. If you're looking for a way to spice up your cardiovascular workouts while also benefiting your heart health overall, then you may want to consider interval training.
Interval training is not only good for your overall wellness, but it is also incredibly easy to work into your existing exercise routine. Essentially, this form of exercise centers on pushing your heart rate considerably above its resting state over and over.
Interested? Take a look at these three tips for starting an interval training regimen.
1. Determine your maximum heart rate
In order to plan a successful interval workout, you'll first need to establish your maximum heart rate, or MHR. There's a simple formula for this. According to Prevention, you multiply your age by 88 percent. Once you have that number, subtract it from 206 to determine your MHR. This number is an estimate of exactly how fast your heart can beat safely.
Once you've determined it, you'll have a base measurement you can use to plan your interval workout expectations. Of course, you won't want to exercise at 100 percent of your potential heart rate. Rather, workouts typically engage you in several minutes of cardio work around 65 percent of your MHR and then one to two minutes at roughly 80 percent, repeating over and over.
2. Start slow and set goals
The Mayo Clinic reports that it's important to begin your interval training with reasonable goals.
Moving too quickly into any sort of new exercise routine can lead to injury or overworking the body. Before you begin interval training, set a modest expectation for yourself. This will allow you to use the first few workouts to gauge exactly how much training you'll need to reach your desired fitness goals.
For example, if you're doing interval workouts on a treadmill, you may want to begin with three minutes at a low heart rate and 45 seconds around 85 percent of your MHR at a time. Set specific goals, such as doubling your time spent near your MHR in each interval within two months, and follow up on them to track your progress.
3. Get a partner
Working out with a partner is almost always beneficial for those beginning a new routine. Exercising with a friend can provide you with the necessary encouragement to achieve your fitness goals while also making the process more social and enjoyable.