Did you know that by shorting the length of your workout you could actually burn more fat and loose more calories? I know this may sound like the exercise version of a calorie free Crispy Cream, all talk and no substance but the research is in and Science says it’s official.
HIIT, (that’s High Intensity Interval Training for any HIIT virgins) basically describes any workout that alternates between intense bursts of exercise and fixed period of less intense activity or rest. But what really makes HIIT stand our from the crowd, is that an entire HIIT workout ranges from just 5 minutes to a maximum of 20 minutes, making it one of the most efficient and effective workouts out there.
Need more convincing, here are 8 brilliant benefits of HIIT.
- It’s super quick. HIIT is the ideal workout for the time short mum. Set your timer for 5, 10 or 15 minutes and do 30 seconds of high intensity exercise such hill sprints or skipping followed by a 30 second rest. Keep repeating until your timer goes off. Just remember, it’s high intensity, so for those 30 seconds try to push yourself to your max!
- Burns Fat Not Muscle. Nothing is better at shifting that last layer of baby fat than a quick HIIT session and unlike steady cardio it allows dieters to preserve their toned muscle by taking it from fat stores instead. To reap it’s full benefits aim for 2 or 3 sessions a week.
- No equipment needed. What I really love about HIIT is that you can do it anywhere. Yes it’s great on a bike, in a pool, on a rower or with a skipping rope but there are countless ways to do HIIT without any equipment. High knees, fast feet, jump lunges; jump squats, burpees and sprints are some of my favourite ways to do HIIT.
- It’s Never Boring. The fact that HIIT is so quick and can be done in so many different ways (see reason number 3) means you’ll never find it boring.
- Always a Challenge. HIIT makes you stronger and fitter than ever but because you are constantly pushing yourself to your limits it will always be a challenge, which means your’ll keep seeing results!
- Increases Your Metabolism. Studies have show that HIIT stimulate the production of Human Growth Hormone (known for increasing caloric burn as well as slowing down the aging process!) by up to 450 percent during the 24 hour after you finish HIIT.
- Healthier Heart. HIIT may make your heart feel like it’s about to jump out of your chest but extreme training produces extreme results. By pushing yourself into the anaerobic zone you are actually doing your heart good. One study in 2006 found that after 8 weeks of HIIT workouts, subjects could cycle twice as long as they could before the study, while maintain the same speed.
- You Can Do It Anywhere. Because there are so many different way to do HIIT it is 100% adaptable, making it the ideal workout to do on your travels.
Photography by Logan Irvine-MacDougall.