Interval training for amateur athletes with little time

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Interval training is said to have similar health effects to endurance training

According to the German University for Prevention and Health Management / BSA Academy in Saarbrücken, short, violent interval training with breaks should have a similar effect on health as a 30- to 40-minute endurance run. The so-called high-intensity interval training (HITT) should be particularly interesting for people with little time.

Staying fit through interval training It is often difficult for working people and other people with little time to integrate sport into their everyday life. To stay fit, the time-saving high-intensity interval training (HITT) is suitable, in which short, heavy stress phases alternate with repeated breaks. "For example, you almost run at sprint speed or cycle for 30 seconds, then you take a break of one and a half minutes and then run fast again for 30 seconds," said Harald Gärtner from the German University for Prevention and Health Management / BSA Academy in Saarbrücken told the news agency "dpa." After a total of six times 30 seconds, the training is already over. "

In addition to saving time, the decisive advantage of this training is the positive effect on health. The short but violent sessions would have a similarly positive effect as a 30- to 40-minute endurance training, says Gärtner. "The fact that this type of training has been neglected for so long is because it was assumed that it was only of interest to competitive athletes." However, some studies have been carried out on the subject in the meantime, which show that interval training is also suitable for mass athletes. "Above all, the time saved compared to traditional endurance training is enormous: Two to a maximum of three short units of HIIT per week are sufficient," emphasized Gärtner.

The expert advises newcomers to have a doctor check them out before starting the training. "As with any other form of training, it is advisable for beginners in particular to be looked after by a trainer specially qualified for this type of training," says Gärtner.

Interval training makes you smart Canadian researchers presented their pilot study at the end of last year, in which they examined how regular training affects both physical and cognitive abilities. The six overweight and previously unsporting subjects had to undergo intensive interval training twice a week. As it turned out, the sports program not only improved the endurance of the study participants but also their mental fitness. During the investigation period of four months, the oxygen supply to the brain was measured, which increased due to the sporting activity due to the increased blood flow. The researchers concluded that the improved mental performance is primarily due to the increased oxygen supply. Martin Juneau of the Montreal Heart Institute, one of the authors of the study, pointed out that people who are active in sports often report that they feel not only physically but also mentally fit. Scientific evidence is now provided.

Middle-aged adults in particular can prevent or at least slow down their age-related decline in cognitive performance through regular physical activity. In addition to a healthy diet, exercise can help prevent circulatory disorders in the brain and thus reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. (ag)

Image: Stephanie Hofschlaeger /

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