High-intensity interval training is on the rise as the fitness trend gaining vast popularity. While conventional exercise programs consist of workouts at moderate exertion in longer timeframes, HIIT involves bursts of all-out effort followed by periods of recovery. Whether you sprint, cycle, run stairs or perform circuits of body-weight exercise, just about any activity can be tailored for a HIIT session. A general rule of thumb when beginning HIIT is to start with a 1:2 ratio of exertion to rest and work your way up to a 1:1 ratio.
Some of the benefits of high-intensity interval training include:
Efficiency. HIIT is the perfect workout for a busy schedule. Research shows that it is possible to attain the same (if not greater) physical benefits from a HIIT session than people get from spending much more time doing a traditional endurance workout.
Increased Metabolism. HIIT will help you burn more calories after you work out due to the rise in your metabolic rate as your body’s systems return to a state of equilibrium. The intensity of HIIT also means your body will burn more fat than if you were doing a workout of steady-state cardio.
Heart and Lung Health. When your raise the intensity of your workouts, you’re making your body work harder. The intense exertion can get your heart and lungs as fit in less time compared with a typical workout of average effort.
Convenience. HIIT is a convenient way to exercise. You don’t need any equipment to get your workout in and you can do it anywhere. HIIT workouts are easily adapted to whatever time and/or space restraints you may have.
So, if you are looking to streamline your fitness routine and get results faster, try high-intensity interval training. Be sure not to over-do it, though. The periods of recovery, both during your HIIT workout and after, are very important. As with any new exercise program, be sure to have a discussion with your physician before you begin. Injury can happen when you are fatigued or when muscles are over-used. Doctor supervised workouts can provide the safety and parameters necessary for you to meet your goals with less chance of injury.