Working out and exercising is important if you want to improve your health. Many people spend hours in the gym running, jogging, or engaging in other forms of cardio workouts at a steady pace. While I will never discourgage anyone from working out, I am all about efficiency and maximizing my time which is why I choose HIIT (high intensity interval training).
HIIT involves performing intense workouts for short periods of time alternated with low-intensity recovery periods. This is beneficial because you can get a lot out of so little time. Average time for this type of workout range from 10-30 minutes. The activities being performed include biking, jump rope, and sprinting and other bodyweight exercises. This is great for people who don’t enjoy working out because it allows you to choose what exercises to do and can be switched up frequently.
They should involve short periods of vigorous exercise that make your heart rate speed up. The period of time might vary depending on which exercise you decide to do, your fitness level and goals.
Boosts metabolic rate
Your body’s metabolic rate is higher for hours even after the exercise. The American College of Sports and Medicine said that High Intensity Interval Training helps you consume more oxygen than a non-interval workout routine. The excess amount of oxygen consumed helps increase your rate of metabolism from about 90 minutes to 144 minutes after a session of interval training. The increased metabolism will help to burn more calories at a faster rate.
Additionally, when participating in such high intensity workouts your body’s repair cycle goes into hyper drive. This means in 24 hours after a HIIT workout your body is still burning calories and fat whereas in steady-state workouts, you generally only burn calories during the workout.
Lastly, this type of cardio allows the muscle gain to be preserved while shedding weight which is important when trying to maximize your weight training. Steady cardio is often associated with losing muscle.
Helps build endurance and increase VO2 max
High intensity training adapts to the cellular structure of muscles which enables you to increase your endurance while doing any type of exercise. “Journal of Physiology,” posted a study where people participated in HIIT for eight weeks and the results showed that they had doubled the length of time they could ride a bicycle while keeping the same pace.
You might not think that one workout can do a whole heck of a lot, but if you’re doing HIIT, it can. In fact, one study of people with type-2 diabetes had subjects either continuously walk (moderate intensity) or interval walk (at low and high intensities) for an hour five times a week for four months. The results: VO2 max increased in the interval-walking group (but no changes were seen in the continuous-walking group). Body mass and fat mass decreased in the interval-walking group only, and they also had better glycemic control.
Good for Heart Health
The interval training is easier because you can push yourself knowing you’ll rest immediately after. This helps blood flow throughout your whole body and improves your hearts health.
HIIT produces many of the same benefits as other forms of exercise such as burning lower body fat, heart rate, and blood pressure. It can be a much more efficient way to exercise since the benefits are achieved in a shorter time and last much longer than other forms of cardio exercises.
HIIT Workouts to try
Walk and Sprint
This one is as simple as the name implies. Usually people do best with a 30 second walk, followed by a 30 second sprint. Repeat this about 8-10 times, and you should be feeling the burn. If this isn’t a challenge then increase the run time to 45-60 seconds followed by 30 second rest. If this is too challenging, do a 30 second sprint followed by a 45-60 walk/rest.
This one is about as fun as it sounds. You will be performing 10 of the exercise or choice (or rotate them each round) at a time. Rest for 30 seconds, and then do 10 more. To increase the difficulty, rest for 15 seconds instead of 30.