Your Health

Running Hard, But For Just A Few Seconds

Fitness instructor shouts instructions i i

hide captionStop jogging and start sprinting—for a few seconds.

John Poole/NPR
Fitness instructor shouts instructions

Stop jogging and start sprinting—for a few seconds.

John Poole/NPR

I was getting bored with my tired old morning jog. My pace was slow and steady. And, perhaps most boring of all, I didn't seem to be getting any fitter, despite sticking to my running routine.

Now I've figured out why. I needed to add a little sprinting to the mix. On Monday's Morning Edition, I look at the science behind interval training.

Interval training has been the buzz for a while now, but I'd always pooh-poohed it. After all, I'm not looking to make the track team. Why bother with the fast stuff?

But after a week of changing pace during my two-mile trek—alternating between 30-second sprints and a very gentle jog—I feel I'm getting more out of exercise.

Already, I have a new appreciation for the advice of researcher Pennington Biomedical Research Center's Tim Church, who told me, "The benefit of interval training is that it's a very efficient way to increase your fitness quickly."

For more, listen to the accompanying Your Health Podcast and my chat with Ken Fujioka who directs the Center for Weight Management at the Scripps Clinic in La Jolla, Calif. In our conversation, he explains the complicated relationship between exercise and weight loss.



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