High intensity interval training is simply alternating periods of high intensity exertion with periods of lower intensity. For example, rather than walk at the same pace for 30 minutes, with HIIT you would run as fast as you can for 1 minute then walk or jog for 3 minutes. The length of your high intensity periods will depend on your fitness level. There are several benefits of this training style. Here is what you need to know.
According to the American College of Sports Medicine HIIT training has been shown to improve:
• Aerobic and anaerobic fitness
• Blood pressure
• Cardiovascular health
• Insulin sensitivity (which helps the exercising muscles more readily use glucose for fuel to make energy)
• Cholesterol profiles
• Abdominal fat and body weight while maintaining muscle mass
But these aren’t the only reasons to give HIIT a try…
High intensity interval training is efficient
Especially is you are pressed for time you should add HIIT training to your regimen. Studies show you can achieve the same or even better results with a 30 minute HIIT workout as you can with a 60 minute workout at the same level of intensity throughout. That means you can do more in less time.
Really pressed for time? Try Tabata training. Developed by Japanese scientist, Dr. Izumi Tabata, the method alternates 8 cycles of high intensity exercise for 20 seconds with 10 second rest periods for four minutes per exercise. Be sure to allow one full minute of rest between exercises. Dr. Tabata used this method to train Olympic athletes. Use it in your own routine for trophy winning results.
Perform HIIT at least three times each week for better endurance and stamina. Just a couple weeks of HIIT can help you build up to the same level of endurance developed with 6 weeks of regular training.
HIIT burns more calories and fat
Researchers have found that intervals burn more calories during and even after exercise than exercise performed at a consistent pace. The boost it provides to metabolism means you’ll use calories more efficiently and maybe even drop a few extra pounds.
HIIT training is hard work so pace yourself. To start add one HIIT training session to your weekly workout schedule. As your fitness level improves, add more. Be sure to include at least two rest days between HIIT training sessions. Recovery is as important as exercise for building fitness and maintaining good physical health.