Fitness professionals and medical doctors are always prescribing low to moderate intensity aerobic training or cardio to people who want to prevent heart disease and also lose weight. The usual recommendations go something like “perform 30-60 minutes of steady cardio 3-5 times per week and keep your heart rate at a 135-155 beats per min”. Recent scientific data suggests this is incorrect. So before you line yourself up with the masses I hope you read this article
First thing we must realize is that our bodies are designed for physical activity in bursts of exertion then they are designed to be followed by recovery. If you look at nature you will see that most animals are like this. They have sudden bursts of energy, then they rest. Also consider the sprinter vs. the long distance runner. Sprinters tend to have a very strong looking physique, while long distance runners look more like a twig blowing in the wind. Which would you rather meet? If the answer is sprinters than keep reading.
When thinking about the heart, a steady state of physical endurance actually trains the heart at only one stress range. On the other hand, doing a interval type routine actually trains the heart at a number of levels. It also trains the heart to recover much more quickly, and helps to keep your blood pressure steady in stressful situations.
The main part of interval training that makes it far superior to steady training is the recovery period that is in between the bursts of heavy training. This period of recovery is hugely important to your body, it is actually the aid to recovery from the exercise stimulus.
Most sports, competitive or not are monitored of interval type activities. They are the type of sports that have high activity followed by recovery. This is an important concept when thinking about interval training. You are actually training your body to respond better in real life situations. You should quit your steady pace training and start a form of interval training today