You have definitely come across the term HIIT in the past few years. High Intensity Interval Training is an exercise routine which people swear by to get the best results! While there may be a lot of confusion as to what exactly HIIT is and who should do it, we’re here to clear out the confusion!
What is High Intensity Interval Training?
HIIT or High Intensity Interval Training, also known as Sprint Interval Training or High Intensity Intermittent Exercise is a form of a workout designed to lose body fat and increase stamina.
In this routine, a person performs a burst of high intensity exercise [say sprinting for 30 seconds] followed by a short burst of active rest [say walking/jogging for 30 seconds] for a total of 4-5 minutes. You can then take a minute or two of rest and repeat the same pattern with other exercises.
The main aspect of this routine is that you can’t rest. You are always moving and doing either high or low intensity exercise. HIIT is suitable for all ages and can be done 4-5 times a week for best results.
It is advised to begin HIIT training with a 1:1 ratio of high and low intensity which means 30 seconds of high intensity and 30 seconds of low intensity. When you can do it easily then the ratio can be 2:1 of high and low intensities.
Benefits of HIIT
- Quick Workout For Busy Individuals: HIIT workout can range from a 10 minutes to 45 minute sessions consisting of one or different exercises. It is the best exercise routine if you have less time on your hands and want to get the best results. You can lose up to 500 calories in a 40-45 minute workout depending on the exercise and the ratio you choose.
- Fat Loss: HIIT raises the heartbeat to the fat burning range rather quickly and keeps it there because of no rest. This gives amazing fat loss results in a relatively short amount of time compared to conventional cardio. The results are visible too.
- Increased Endurance: This exercise routine is very helpful to increase stamina even if you start at the lowest speeds. Many players who perform HIIT have found that they can run longer at higher speeds when they followed this routine regularly for some time.
- Improved Brain Functioning: Research done at various institutes has found that following an HIIT routine for some time causes the following changes which increase the brain’s functioning capacity.
- Increases the number of neurons in the brain
- Better cognitive functioning
- Reduced stiffness and inflammation in the nerves
- Increases the development of new blood vessels in the brain
- Better Physical Performance: Research done at the University of British Columbia found the following benefits of HIIT over the traditional long duration, moderate intensity workouts
- Higher stamina
- Longer endurance
- Higher metabolism
- Increased speed and agility
- Higher peak power
So now we see that HIIT is not your usual go-to method for reducing fat, but it is also very helpful in improving important aspects of both mental and physical performance. You can include it in your current workout or try it instead of your current cardio routine for a week.
Here is a Quick HIIT Routine You Can Follow
- Jumping jacks – 1 minute
- Squats – 1 minute
- Spot Running – 1 minute
- Squats – 1 minute
- Jumping Jacks – 1 minute
Rest for 1-2 minutes and do 2-4 sets depending on your fitness level.
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