Did you pick up some extra pounds over the summer? Are you less than enthused about pursuing another workout regimen? Consider high-intensity interval training [HIIT], which involves short bursts of intense exercise to burn fat fast, strengthen your heart and preserve muscle.
And there is even more good news about HIIT. Not only do you exercise for a short duration; HIIT burns fat even after you finish your workout. Score!
So how does this top fitness trend for 2014 work? You must push yourself 100 percent for about 20 or 30 seconds, followed by a 10-second recovery period. Start off with one or two higher-intensity intervals during each workout. As your endurance improves, challenge yourself to vary the pace.
Whether you’re a veteran exerciser or a newbie, HIIT provides these benefits:
- Spend less time to burn more calories. The more vigorously you exercise, the more calories you will burn — even if you increase intensity for just a few minutes each time.
- Improve your cardiovascular system. As your cardiovascular fitness increases, you will be able to push your heart rate high during workouts. This means shaving time off a 60- or 30-minute routine or maintaining the pace and burning more calories.
- Fit HIIT into a busy schedule. Only have 20 or 15 minutes to spare? That’s enough time to turn up the intensity of your exercises.
- Use your body weight instead of equipment. Do a walk/jog or run combo or squats, sit-ups and lunges. No special equipment is needed, just your own body.
If interval training sounds like it’s worth a try, talk to your medical provider if you have not been regularly exercising or a health condition exists.
With the holiday season a few months away, now may be the time to pursue a different kind of workout to get different kinds of results. Let us know how you are doing!
Robin Farmer is a freelance content specialist with a focus on health, business and education. Visit her at www.RobinFarmerWrites.com.