Do you want to shorten your workout time and get a workout that has loads of cardio benefits? Try doing a high intensity interval training workout, also know as a HIIT Workout. HIIT is not a specific workout but a way of doing any workout. You alternate between a few seconds to a few minutes of peak intensity, then drop back to equal time or longer at recovery or moderate intensity exercise. It can be incorporated with everything from weight lifting to walking. If you’re walking, you do a few minutes of power walking and then drop back to a moderate pace until your heart rate recovers.
HIIT is the ultimate interval training workout.
When you do interval training, you workout at moderate intensity and then have a short rest period between exercises. It’s very similar to HIIT, except with HIIT, you turn up the heat and work toward maximum heart rate. At peak performance, you’re burning the most calories and getting the best results, so you can’t maintain it very long, the recovery period allows you to do extend your exercise period.
Alternating your intensity is shown to be far superior to steady state workouts.
Steady-state workouts can improve your aerobic system by forcing it to work, but HIIT does that and more. It also stimulates the anaerobic system. Anaerobic exercises work your muscles at such intensity that your body can’t provide the oxygen. That builds strength and endurance. Not only do HIIT workouts provide more benefits than steady state, they do it in a shorter period of time, so you don’t workout as long with a HIIT workout.
After a HIIT workout, you continue to burn calories with a higher metabolism.
HIIT causes EPOC—Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption—burns calories after you’ve quit, boosting your metabolism. It’s called afterburn. The afterburn effect lasts up to 72 hours after you’ve worked out. That afterburn effect comes from the high intensity part of HIIT. The high-intensity also means your workout can be cut from 45 minutes to a half hour to get the same benefits.
- HIIT helps your muscles use glucose more effectively as fuel. It helps increase sensitivity to insulin and make you less likely to develop type 2 diabetes. It also boosts heart health by lowering blood pressure.
- HIIT burns abdominal fat—visceral fat—better than any other type of exercise regimen. You can use any type of workout to do it, whether it’s calisthenics, weight lifting or just walking.
- HIIT training isn’t for beginners, or someone restarting after an injury it’s not the best way to start your workouts. If you’re in good health, you can modify HIIT, by pushing hard for very short periods and less than your peak and dropping back to a moderate pace for longer.
- Alternating your workout between HIIT and traditional workouts can be a good place to start. You won’t ever be bored using HIIT, since you can adapt any activity to it.
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