There is an exercise method for everything you could think of. But really! For those of you looking for a workout that doesn’t take up a lot of time or if you want to switch up your routine, try a high intensity interval workout.
Commonly called HIIT for short, High Intensity Interval Training is exactly what it sounds like- intervals of high intensity work with periods of rest. Research shows that HIIT can improve blood pressure, insulin sensitivity, and improve both aerobic and anaerobic fitness. HIIT is a great cardiovascular workout that can also help you lose body fat while still working your muscles hard. Most of the intervals are determined by a percent heart rate max, typically 80% or more. The rest time- which can also be an active rest period- is different depending on fitness levels and the amount of recovery needed for that given effort. The basic rule is the higher the intensity, the shorter the speed interval.
So why does HIIT work? Working at a high intensity causes your body to need more oxygen and more energy. Typically, HIIT sessions are about 20 minutes in length. Because this method of training demands more energy and oxygen, it takes longer for your body to recover and your body can still be burning calories at a higher rate than normal even after you stop exercising. This is called excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, or EPOC, and can help you lose body fat or even help maintain a healthy body composition. Working a HIIT session into your routine regularly can help you feel more energetic.
If you have never tried a HIIT session before, make sure you find a fitness professional to help guide you and build a training regimen that works best for you. This type of training isn’t for everyone since it is done at such a high intensity. There are many different types of HIIT programs as well, so find the one that meets your needs and make sure your program is safe and effective!
Blog post by Nikki Courtney.