We’re busy people. Between jobs, families, friends, pets, school and chores, there is often very little time-left over. What time there is feels precious and is not to be wasted.
Luckily, you don’t need to spend hours in the gym to reap the health benefits of working out. In fact, if you can put in just 20 minutes of hard work a day, you can make noticeable improvements to your fitness. Studies have shown that you can improve health markers such as blood pressure, body fat percentage and cholesterol levels and increase cardiovascular ability with serious bouts of high-intensity interval training.
What is High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)?
HIIT is a training technique involving short bouts of intense, heart-pumping work followed by a period of rest. Intervals of hard work vary from a few seconds to a few minutes long. Recovery periods can last the same amount of time, if not longer, depending on heart rate and ability.
Can Anyone Do It?
HIIT is intense, no doubt about it. But every workout can be modified to take fitness level in to account. If you haven’t worked out in a long time, start off at a moderate pace and take a long recovery period. If you are a gym rat, shorten that recovery period and give it your all during your work-mode interval.
What’s So Great About HIIT?
Besides the aforementioned efficiency of HIIT (you know you can fit in 20 minutes a few times a week!), there are a numerous benefits for the healthy-but-harried human.
- Your body goes in to fat-burning over drive for a prolonged period of time after you stop working out.
- You don’t need a gym membership or any special equipment. HIIT is as effective on the row machine as it is with a jump rope or some burpees or sprints.
- HIIT stimulates your metabolism. There is evidence that your metabolism gets a boost for up to 24 hours after a high-intensity interval workout.
- HIIT doesn’t leave room for boredom. If you are truly giving it your all during the work periods of a HIIT session, you won’t last long and you definitely won’t have the time to watch the news or read a magazine. This is a get-in and get-out type of workout. You have 20 minutes, make the most of it.
Ready, Set, HIIT
Now that you know WHY you should be doing HIIT, here’s a few how’s:
Author Julia Hale