Recent Blog Articles
Does weight loss surgery relieve pain?
Have you done your crossword puzzle today?
Concerned about your child’s development?
Why all the buzz about inflammation — and just how bad is...
What’s the right way to brush your teeth?
Want to stay healthy over the holidays?
How to help your preschooler sleep alone
21 spices for healthy holiday foods
New guidelines on opioids for pain relief: What you need to know
Should you get an over-the-counter hearing aid?
Harnessing the power of high-intensity interval training
Adding short bursts of ramped-up exercise to your workout may be good for your waistline as well as your heart health.
For decades, competitive athletes have added brief bouts of strenuous exercise to their workouts to boost their performance. Known as interval training, this practice is now moving into the mainstream, bolstered by emerging evidence of its health benefits for all sorts of people, including those with heart disease.
"There's a growing consensus that interval training helps people lose weight and may have cardiovascular benefits," says cardiologist Dr. Stephen Wiviott, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. Also known as high-intensity interval training (HIIT), these workouts alternate between periods of high-intensity and lower-intensity activity. You can do intervals during any type of exercise — walking, running, cycling, swimming, or even while doing calisthenics, such as jumping jacks, push-ups, or squats. A longtime distance runner, Dr. Wiviott started doing HIIT workouts at his local CrossFit gym about a year ago. "Even though I was exercising for shorter periods of time, I lost body fat and felt better," he says. His positive experience spurred him to explore the evidence supporting HIIT.
To continue reading this article, you must log in.
Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School.
- Research health conditions
- Check your symptoms
- Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
- Find the best treatments and procedures for you
- Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
I'd like to receive access to Harvard Health Online for only $4.99 a month.Sign Me Up
Already a member? Login ».
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles.
No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.
Free Healthbeat Signup
Get the latest in health news delivered to your inbox!