Chances are, however, that you haven't heard as much about Low Intensity Interval Training (LIIT). Recent studies of walkers have shown that less intense intervals also have fitness benefits.
What Is LIIT?
Low Intensity Interval Training is similar to High Intensity Interval Training, but differs in the amount of effort expended during the harder intervals. Like HIIT, your workout consists of two paces: (1) a normal pace in which you could carry on a conversation, and (2) a faster pace in which you exert more effort for a certain length of time. But with LIIT, the faster pace isn't as intense.
A recent study at Ohio State University measured the benefits of walking at varying speeds. Specifically, researchers wanted to measure the calories burned, or metabolic cost, of changing speeds.
Researchers determined that we could be underestimating the number of calories burned even while just walking in daily life, or playing sports. In fact, eight percent of the energy used during daily walking may be due to energy we spend just starting and stopping. Even just changing the way you walk — whether it's walking in a curve as opposed to a straight line, or wearing a backpack — can burn more than 20 percent more calories than walking at a consistent pace.
The study also showed that people walk faster when covering longer distances and slower over short distances.
There are a variety of ways to incorporate LIIT training into your fitness regimen. The important thing to remember is that you are altering your normal pace at various intervals of the workout.
One way to do this is to walk five to eight minutes at your normal pace. Then gradually increase your speed and hold that pace for 90 seconds. You don't want to increase your pace to an extent that you can't catch your breath, but enough that you feel the extra exertion. Return to your normal pace for three to five minutes, then add another faster interval of 90 seconds. Continue this routine for 30 total minutes.
If you're looking for someone to guide you and be a training partner in your fitness routine, then contact one of the professional trainers at the Downtown Athletic Club of Amarillo.