Regular exercise boasts a host of health benefits- weight loss or maintenance, better sleep quality, muscle health, bone health, brain health, eye health, better mood/less depression, increased productivity at work and home, overall happiness- the list goes on and on! But what are the best ways to exercise?
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is possibly the best, most effective way to burn fat and get in shape fast! HIIT is a version of circuit or interval training that makes use of alternating between very high intensity and low intensity exercise, in relatively short intervals, repeated a few times to make up a set.
Here are some reasons to embrace this style of workout:
- HIIT engages both aerobic and anaerobic processes in the body. Alternating between lower intensity and higher intensity intervals means your body switches back and forth from aerobic heart rate levels to anaerobic heart rate levels. This means you get the benefits of both and limit the undesirable side effects of both.
- It increases endurance faster than steady pace cardio. Because of the alternating, your endurance level improves much more quickly when compared to steady pace cardio, like just straight jogging. The extra push into high intensity is great for fast body conditioning.
- HIIT results in higher levels of HGH being produced in the following 24 hours than steady pace cardio, which means more calorie burn occurs and a higher resting metabolic rate is maintained. This means your body keeps burning fat, even after you’re done working out!
- It helps lose fat but keep muscle. When losing weight, oftentimes muscle mass is lost along with the fat. With HIIT, fat burn is increased but muscle mass is not as affected — so you get to burn fat faster and keep the muscle you worked so hard for!
- HIIT gets better results in less time, perfect for fitting into a busy schedule. Because high intensity exercise is condensed into a short timeframe, HIIT burns calories faster than steady pace cardio, which means greater results in less time!
- It requires no special training or equipment and you can do it anywhere. For the most part, HIIT uses your body weight with little or no equipment and can be done in a gym, but you can also do it at home or outdoors. The variety of settings available can keep your workouts very interesting and engaging!
- HIIT activity can be varied so you will never get bored. HIIT can be used with sprinting/walking, elliptical machines, biking, swimming and calesthetic training. This makes HIIT easily adaptable to training for a specific event. There are a variety of suggested programs out there to follow when getting started or you can design your own!
As always, check with your doctor before starting this or any exercise program. It is important to avoid pushing your heart rate beyond your target range, so just be careful and gradually work your way up in intensity.
For convenience, best use of time, fast result and keeping your workouts varied and interesting, HIIT is where it’s at!