We all know that exercise is good for us. But, you don’t need to spend hours and a ton of energy to get a quality workout with great results. A great option for everyone–especially people short on time–is doing a HIIT workout several times a week.
What is HIIT?
The acronym HIIT stands for high-intensity interval training and simply means you do hard work for a short period of time and recovery for a longer period of time, alternating the two for the duration of your workout.
The times can vary, but it can be something simple like fast walking/running for 20-30 seconds and then walking for 1-2 minutes, repeated for 20-20 minutes. To know if you’re reaching the HIIT goal, you should feel your heart rate speed up during the intense component and decrease during the recovery component.
What are the Benefits of HIIT?
- Awesome Calorie Burn. HIIT burns more calories than other forms of exercise, even though you are only pushing hard a fraction of the time.
- Your Metabolism Stays High. That means you continue burning more calories the rest of the day, well after you finish your workout.
- Optimal Fat Loss. HIIT seems to be more effective at burning fat, especially the visceral fat that surrounds your organs, than lower-intensity steady exercise.
- Muscle Gain. The harder you can push during the high-intensity component of your workouts, the more your muscles, especially your legs and core, get worked. That could result in creating strong, lean muscles.
- It Improves Your Oxygen Consumption. “Oxygen consumption refers to your muscles’ ability to use oxygen, and endurance training is typically used to improve your oxygen consumption.” HIIT workouts seem to have the same effect, but in shorter amounts of time.
- Improvements to Heart Rate and Blood Pressure. Like all forms of exercise, a routine that includes HIIT workouts will help decrease your resting heart rate (how hard your heart has to work to keep that blood pumping) and decrease blood pressure.
Looking for a HIIT workout?
Check YouTube or create your own, based on your needs and abilities! Looking for inspiration? Check out this link for a few suggestions and modify as needed.