It’s a new year which means it’s time to get a move on and start ticking off those resolutions. We know for a lot of us this will include exercising more, getting healthy, or losing weight. And we also know for most of us, once normality resumes, it will be the same old story of not having enough time in the day to do it. Well we may have a solution for you! HIIT!
HIIT stands for?
High-intensity interval training. And if you are one of those time poor people we described above, this type of training could be just what you are looking for. It’s a form of exercise that has become incredibly popular in recent years and is a great way for people to get their burn on, within a short space of time. So, if you can barely find time to think between kids, work, cooking, washing and sleeping (hang on… there is such thing as sleeping???), then read on to learn more.
What is HIIT ?
HIIT is a type of workout that follows a repeated pattern of vigorous exercise over a short time period, followed by a rest or recovery period of less vigorous exercise. This repeated pattern will usually take place over a period of up to 30 minutes. Thirty minutes is all you need! And it has been shown that the effects on the body after performing this type of exercise are similar to that of double the amount of medium-intensity exercise. Starting to see why it is so popular?
Let’s give you a few examples of what you could do. Try running as fast as possible on an inclined treadmill for 30-40 seconds, followed by a light jog with no incline for 4-5 minutes. Repeat for 30 minutes. Sounds hard, right? Well it is, but that’s OK. You’ll feel goooood afterwards!
If you need a low impact HIIT workout, try swimming fast and slow laps or cycling with 20 seconds of vigorous cycling followed by 90 seconds of slower cycling. Repeat for 30 minutes.
What are the benefits of HIIT?
There are several positive effects of HIIT on the body. These include:
- High calorie burn – you’re sure to burn loads of calories even when performed over a short period of time
- Increased metabolism – you’ll keep burning those calories for hours after you’ve finished exercising due to the boost your metabolism will get doing HIIT
- Fat loss – HIIT can help you reduce fat from your body, including fat that may have developed around your organs (i.e. ’visceral fat’)
- Reduced heart rate and blood pressure – this has been shown more in the overweight and obese population. HIIT can help to improve your cardiovascular health!
- Reduced blood sugar – this has been shown when performed consistently over a long period of time. This is particularly great news for the diabetic population
- Improved use of oxygen – regular HIIT workouts will help to improve your muscles ability to use oxygen, similar to the effects that you get from running or cycling over a long period
- Muscle and strength gains – although not the best way to gain muscle and strength, depending on the type of exercise you perform, you may also notice some gains in this region too
We think it does, so why not give it a try? If time is always an issue, then this is worth a shot. Please always consider your health and level of fitness before trying new forms of exercise. We recommend talking to one of us at TM Physio if you are thinking of starting up a HIIT program of your own. We can assess you and advise you on a safe workout that isn’t going to send you straight right back to us with a new injury.
If you are looking for alternative safe and achievable exercises as HIIT isn’t for you click here to read more about other options when it comes to keeping yourself moving.
It’s time to burn! Who’s ready?