If you're looking to score giant fitness wins without investing a ton of time or money, allow us to introduce your new go-to workout.
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is the busy person's answer to major get-fit #goals. The benefits of HIIT are many, and the entry cost and time commitment are surprisingly slim (no pun intended).
The catch: you gotta push yourself. But nobody said this would be easy. Here's why HIIT's so worth it:
1. It’s short and sweet
HIIT workouts are intervals of short, intense exercises ranging from 10 seconds to about one minute, followed by an equal or slightly longer recovery period. The intensity of the workout dictates how many times you repeat the cycles of exercises. HIIT workouts range from 10 minutes to about 45 minutes long, so you can do what works for your busy day.
Important to keep in mind: Because it's so intense, HIIT should only be done a few times a week to avoid injury.
2. You can do it anywhere
The beauty of HIIT is you can do it anytime, anywhere. You don’t need equipment or weights, just a small space and some serious motivation. HIIT workouts can be altered for different time and space constraints, meaning you can sprint across full football fields or never leave your yoga mat. The good news? You have everything you need to workout at all times. The bad news? No excuses.
3. Keep your muscle, lose the fat
As your body adapts to low-intensity steady state (LISS) training like jogging, running, walking, etc., you begin to lose muscle as well as fat. HIIT, on the other hand, keeps your muscles going strong by consistently challenging them with high-intensity demand.
4.Your heart will love you back
HIIT’s a quick way to tune up your ticker. In fact, studies show that just two weeks of intense HIIT, where you reach at least a 7 on an effort scale of 1-10, can improve aerobic capacity as much as 6-8 weeks of endurance training.
5. It’s an EPOC workout
EPOC stands for excess post-exercise oxygen consumption. In everyday language, this means your body continues to burn fat even after the workout's over. HIIT stimulates your metabolism, increasing your levels of epinephrine and norepinephrine, our fight or flight hormones. These hormones drive lipolysis, fat breakdown — which means you're a lean, mean fat-burning machine.
High-intensity exercise can lead to musculoskeletal injury and cardiac events. Check with your health care provider before taking part in HIIT or beginning any fitness routine.