Shape up with HIIT

Shape up with HIIT

By Sonia Duggan

Want to burn fat and gain stamina in the New Year? Try a HIIT workout. This type of exercise is gaining momentum as one of the more popular fitness regimens. HIIT workouts can be effective at boosting metabolism and helping people burn calories faster. They also help to develop physical endurance.

HIIT is an acronym for High Intensity Interval Training.

The crux of HIIT is sustained, intense exercise followed by active recovery periods. It involves shorts burst of high intensity (30 seconds to 1 minute) followed by 1-2 minutes of low intensity. The intervals are alternated for anywhere from 8 – 30 minutes.

HIIT can be used with any type of cardio workout, including rowing, jumping rope, stair climbing, and more. Many gyms and personal trainers also build programs around HIIT that may include “boot camp” workouts that utilize equipment or body weight exercises to burn calories.

The great thing about HIIT is that you don’t have to go to a gym to do this efficient workout routine and you don’t need equipment. Your bodyweight is all you use.

A typical HIIT training sessions lasts about 30 minutes. Workouts are performed at 80 to 90 percent of a person’s maximal heart rate, which is the number of times the heart will beat in a minute without overexerting itself. Recovery periods are not entirely rest. They tend to be shorter than active periods and come in at around 40 to 50 percent of the maximal heart rate. The workout will alternate between the working and recovery periods.

The science behind the HIIT workouts has to do with EPOC, or excess post-exercise oxygen consumption. The fitness lifestyle resource Daily Burn says that HIIT will help burn more fat and calories than regular steady workouts because EPOC\0x2008 is an oxygen shortage in the body that occurs during the intense portions of the HIIT workouts. During recovery, the body will ask for more oxygen, creating an afterburn and a metabolic disturbance.

According to the popular online workout guide Fitness Blender, it states that the intense training will result in the body burning calories at a higher rate for up to 48 to 72 hours after exercising.

You may see greater results by doing HIIT workouts three times a week for half of the duration than you would if you were performing more typical workouts more frequently. For those of you with schedules that are already jam-packed, HIIT can be a more efficient way of exercising.

HIIT requires a strong baseline fitness level, so beginners or those who have been out of the gym for some time are urged to start slowly. If you want to start at home simply start on YouTube by searching HIIT workouts. This type of exercise gets the heart pumping, and for that reason if you’re not in good health shape, it’s wise to discuss the regimen with your doctor to find out if HIIT is a smart choice for you depending on your medical history.

So ring in the New Year with a new goal and no excuses. Boost your metabolism, tone up, and improve your endurance all from the confines of your home. You’ll see results if you start getting fit with HIIT.

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