Fit n’ Pretty: Interval training more enjoyable, demanding than jogging

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I’m about to give you the best news ever. Ready for it?


You can officially eliminate jogging from your workout regimen.


Most sane people know that lengthy periods of jogging are comparable to Chinese water torture. I bitterly applaud those who can breeze through hours on the treadmill or miles in a marathon.


As much as I’ve tried, I am not one of those people. But that’s OK because, as it turns out, there is a better way to spend your time on the treadmill.


It’s interval training. It will kick your butt, and you will love it.


Interval training is when you continuously change and maximize speed and intensity while running. In an interval workout, you can design your routine with low speeds and high speeds. For example, you could walk quickly for a minute and a half, and then run as fast as you can for 30 seconds. Then, repeat the intervals for 20 to 40 minutes.


According to runnersworld.com, interval training strengthens the cardiovascular system and forces more oxygen-rich blood through the body, which results in more efficient coordination between the muscles and nervous system. Interval training may also help reduce the risk for chronic diseases by maintaining better blood sugar control.


Not to mention, interval training burns more calories than jogging.


After a high-intensity interval workout, your body continues to burn calories for eight hours. After jogging, your body stops burning calories the moment you stop moving, according to fitness.mercola.com.


I concocted my own interval routine that would challenge me but also not kill me. My routine consisted of two minutes of walking at 5 mph and one minute of sprinting at about 9 mph. I decided to do 10 sets of intervals, which ended up being 30 minutes. Of those 30 minutes, 10 were high-intensity sprinting and 20 were moderate walking.


I hopped on the treadmill, pumped to start the workout. I held on to my motivation and vigor until the fifth cycle, and that’s when I started to feel the burn. I was about halfway through the 30 minutes. My face started forming sweat droplets. My lungs started to feel tight. My shoulder had a weird pain. I thought, “Can I just stop now?”


I didn’t stop. Instead, I blasted my most aggressive Rise Against song and got in my zone. 


Seizing the zone is the key to mastering the hard parts of the workout. I like focusing on the things that stress me out or aggravate me. Those things help motivate me to run faster and harder, and the angry music enhances the drive.


The last half of the interval routine left me feeling strong, powerful and like I could dominate every aspect of my life. I stepped off the treadmill feeling like Madonna, minus the overly toned arms.


Not only did my body feel tired, the ultimate sign of a successful workout, but I felt good inside. I was automatically in a better mood, and not just because I burned double the amount of calories in half the time as I normally do jogging. I felt pride because I didn’t quit when I wanted to.


Interval training may be more difficult physically, but it’s easier mentally. Because there are breaks after every sprint. I saw the sprints as obstacles to overcome, and that entertained my mind, an entertainment you can’t get from endless jogging.


I’m officially replacing jogging with interval training. You can get more interval routines to chose from at Shape.com.


Now get on the treadmill and show it who’s boss.