We live in a society where the hustle and bustle of family and work causes people to be unable to stay active. The notion of setting aside even forty-five minutes seems like a major time commitment.
However, HIIT, or otherwise known as high-intensity interval training, provides amazing results in a short amount of time. HIIT involves “short bursts of intense exercise (thirty seconds) alternated with low-intensity recovery periods (one minute)”1.
A Short Workout
One of the great benefits of HIIT is you do not need to allocate forty-five minutes to one hour as it can and should be done within ten to thirty minutes. Studies have shown that HIIT provides twice as much to our overall health than moderate-intensity exercise2. Personally, I find HIIT beneficial as I have the ability to get a great workout in a short amount of time while never having an excuse not to do it.
Big Results in Little Time
When performing HIIT, you will burn off calories and your body’s repair cycle goes into hyperdrive3. A 2018 study showed that HIIT helped aid in the visceral and abdominal fat mass loss (“Some trainers tout HIIT as the best way to burn belly fat. Here’s what science says.,” n.d.). Endocrinologist Reshmi Srinath says “the real benefit of HIIT is it’s efficiency”4.
From personal experience, it has helped me lose thirty pounds. I was blown away by how little time it took and also how fast the results were. What I love about HIIT is that a session takes little time, and it made me realize how attainable my goal could be. I am a big believer in setting realistic, attainable goals, and HIIT can provide that for everyone of all ages.
What I love about HIIT is that a session takes little time, and it made me realize how attainable my goal could be. I am a big believer in setting realistic, attainable goals, and HIIT can provide that for everyone of all ages.
Another great thing about HIIT is that your heart rate remains high hours after your workout. Studies have shown that performing only two minutes of HIIT increases your metabolism compared to thirty minutes of running5. So whether you go to work or home after a HIIT exercise, your body will continue to burn off calories!
As it relates to cardiovascular exercise, HIIT can be done by biking, jump rope, high knees, swimming, and various sports such as soccer, ultimate frisbee, and basketball.
You also can perform HIIT at home, where no weights are required – that can be hand-release push-ups, Russian twists, burpees, superman, flutter kicks, and planks. The list is truly endless.
If you are using weights, lift lighter weights and do as many as you can in thirty seconds with a one-minute rest period. Be sure to avoid lifting heavy as the goal is to perform as many reps as you can for thirty seconds.
Although HIIT is a very short workout, in my personal opinion, if you are performing HIIT the way it is intended to be, it should be done no more than three days a week. Like any exercise, your body needs time to rest, and the margin for injury is much greater if done too much.
1 Brown, L. E. (2017). Strength Training. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics
2 7Benefits of High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). (2017, June 2). Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/benefits-of-hiit#TOC_TITLE_HDR_2
3 Brown, L. E. (2017). Strength Training. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics
4 Some trainers tout HIIT as the best way to burn belly fat. Here’s what science says. (n.d.). Washington Post. Retrieved July 16, 2021, from https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/wellness/hiit-belly-fat-burn-workout/2020/12/14/b6ad8b7a-3668-11eb-8d38-6aea1adb3839_story.html
5 7Benefits of High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). (2017, June 2). Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/benefits-of-hiit#TOC_TITLE_HDR_2