In recent years, HIIT exercises have been taking the workout world by storm. However, if you’re just starting out on your exercise journey, you might be thinking, what is HIIT and why is it good for you? In this post you’ll find out the major benefits of HIIT workouts.
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Any exercise is good for you. It’s a sad fact that we are more sedentary than people would have been a hundred years ago. Granted a lot has changed in the last 100 years. Technology has made our lives easier and we don’t have so much manual work to do nowadays.
Although there are a lot of positive changes with regards to lifestyles, it is undeniable that we just aren’t getting the same exercise as part of our daily lives.
Therefore, it is crucial that we make the effort to get enough exercise in order to stay fit and healthy. This isn’t always as easy as it sounds but there is one workout regime taking the world by storm that may solve your problems:
What is a HIIT Workout?
HIIT Workouts consist of alternating between short bursts of high-intensity activity followed by a short duration of rest. For instance, 45 seconds of star jumps, followed by 15 seconds of recovery.
To create an effective workout, pick a number of exercises and repeat each cycle to last 15 to 20 minutes.
e.g: 4 exercises x 5 cycles
Or build a workout of different exercises that can reach a duration of up to 45 minutes.
As a beginner, HIIT workouts are great for flexibility. Begin with a 15-minute workout and build up strength and stamina. Each week add an extra exercise or cycle for a longer workout whilst also increasing the intensity of each move.
Who is HIIT for?
Most people will be able to execute HIIT workouts to reap the benefits which will be discussed further in greater detail.
However, there are some people who should not perform high intensity workouts due to their health.
Anyone who suffers from the following should avoid HIIT until their health improves:
- Anyone who is injured or who suffers from heart, joint or back problems
- Anyone with bladder weakness
- Pregnant women, or women in the first 6 months
- People who do not know how to perform exercises with correct form
The list above is fairly self explanatory but it must be said that those with health problems could cause more damage to their bodies.
Those new to HIIT or those who are unfit should take things easy at first to get the body used to this kind of exercise.
As I have stated above, begin with a 15-minute workout (30 seconds on, 30 seconds recovery) and gradually add to the workout and increase intensity.
This will allow the body to become accustomed to high intensity manoeuvres without causing any injury.
What are the benefits of HIIT?
You might think HIIT is too simple to be effective, but the proven benefits of HIIT cannot be ignored.
Time Is Precious!
Life is chaotic. We’re constantly on the go between working, managing family time or leading a busy social life. Therefore it’s not always possible to free up enough time to visit the gym each week.
HIIT workouts are efficient. Taking as little as 15 minutes to complete, HIIT workouts can easily fit around a busy schedule. Got a free 15 minutes at the beginning of your day or on your lunch? Bust out a HIIT and burn some fat!
Spending 15 minutes of interval training four times a week will achieve more progress than an hour on a treadmill.
You can also boost your aerobic capacity (amount of oxygen consumed during intense exercises) in a fraction of the time with a HIIT workout when compared to endurance training.
Burn That Fat!
We all have a little (or in my case, a lot!) of fat to lose.
A calorie controlled diet and a good fitness routine is the only way to lose fat. Fact.
Read more in greater detail on the benefits of a balanced diet and workout regime in my post about smashing fitness goals.
However, if you would prefer a more accurate account of your steps, associated calorie burn and overall fitness, you can link this fitness watch with the app instead.
Like any form of exercise, HIIT burns calories. Quite a few of them actually. But did you know that you continue to burn fat and calories for up to 24 hours AFTER your HIIT workout?
This is because the metabolism doesn’t return to normal after an intense workout.
Intense exercises cause the body to use more oxygen than normal thus creating oxygen debt. To return the body to its resting metabolic rate, oxygen needs to be replaced.
Any exercise that requires the body to consume more oxygen will use more energy – thus burning more calories.
NO Equipment or Gym Membership Needed
A HIIT workout is cardio exercises executed with maximum effort. Therefore, it’s not necessary to use any equipment or possess a gym membership to work up a sweat.
With exercises like burpees, mountain climbers and star
Although, if there is any equipment at your disposal you can incorporate a treadmill, elliptical machine or an exercise bike. The same principles would apply.
I.e: 30 seconds of intense motion x 30 seconds rest.
It’s common to feel pretty amazing after completing HIIT workouts and this is attributed to the release of endorphins.
A study released in 2017 shows that higher intensity exercises encourage the brain to release more endorphins than slower exercises. The ‘high’ after a workout makes us feel great which boosts motivation to workout more frequently.
It’s clear to see there are many benefits of HIIT routines from better fitness, fat loss and improved mood.
However, the key is to find
Try some of my workouts here and let me know what you think in the comments!
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Until next time…