Is HIIT the new age of fitness?
The old excuse of not having enough time to exercise can be thrown away…no one can use the “time” excuse anymore! According to a study published in the Journal of Physiology, a 2.5 hour High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) of sprints can produce similar muscular effects as 10.5 hours of endurance training, and the best part is most HIIT workouts last no more than about 20 minutes! Another benefit is HIIT produces greater excess post exercise oxygen consumption than traditional endurance workouts such as walking on the treadmill for an hour. All of this sounds great, but what does this mean to you? You will continue to burn more calories after the exercise than with traditional aerobic exercises. You can work out in a shorter amount of time and burn more calories after the workout. Why wouldn’t you want to try HIIT?
How HIIT can help you
High Intensity Interval Training can vary according to level of fitness and desired goals. The basic principle behind HIIT is to push yourself (high intensity) in short bursts (intervals) and allow a short recovery period in between the high intensity bursts. For example, if you are on the treadmill, warm up for about 5 minutes and then alternate between high intensity (faster) levels for about a minute and recovery levels (slower) for about 2 minutes. For a more intense workout, you can kick up the speed on the high intensity intervals and go for a shorter time (~15 – 30 seconds) and then make the recovery period about a minute. The best thing about HIIT is that you can apply it to any type of workout you want. You can also incorporate it into resistance training and cardiovascular training. The benefits are not only improved athletic performance and weight loss, but also improved cardiovascular efficiency and increased excess post exercise oxygen consumption.
Please remember to consult your physician before starting any exercise program. HIIT may be too intense for some individuals.