You don’t need to spend hours in the gym each day doing cardio to achieve your weight loss and fitness goals. In fact, just 20 minutes, a few days per week can help you lose weight and increase your cardiovascular fitness. Keep reading to find out how.
What is HIIT?
HIIT, which stands for High Intensity Interval Training, involves short intense bursts of exercise followed by short periods of rest or low intensity exercise.
30 seconds sprinting
30 seconds walking
Repeat 20 times
Do each exercise for 20 seconds, followed by 10 seconds rest
Repeat 3 times
What are the benefits of HIIT?
1. Boost metabolism and burns more calories
A HIIT workout burns a tonnes of calories, but studies have shown that you continue to burn calories up to 24 hours after your workout. Just a few HIIT session per week can turn your body in to a fat burning machine!
2. No equipment or gym membership required
There’s no need for a gym membership or expensive gym equipment. All you need is to know a few basic bodyweight exercises and you can create your very own HIIT circuit, which can be done in your living room. Or, you could go outside and do a HIIT sprint workout.
3. It challenges you
Because you’re only working for short periods, you will work extra hard, which will rapidly increase your cardiovascular fitness.
4. Ideal if you have a busy schedule
HIIT is perfect if you do not have a lot of time to workout. A 20 minute HIIT session will actually provide you with much better results than if you were to walk/jog on the treadmill at a steady pace for 60 minutes!
5. Preserves muscle mass
When you lose weight, unfortunately you also lose some muscle mass. Steady state cardio seems to further increase this loss of muscle mass. Fortunately there is a way to prevent this; HIIT preserves your hard-earned muscle by ensuring most of your weight loss comes from fat stores.
6. Adaptable to suit any fitness level
Exercise to rest period ratios can be adapted to suit any level of fitness. If you’re a beginner or are quite unfit, a ratio of 15 seconds on/45 seconds off is ideal. As you progress you can increase the ratio to 30 seconds on/30 seconds off, and then eventually 45 seconds on/15 seconds off. This way you are always pushing yourself that bit further and continuing to improve your cardiovascular fitness.
Why not try incorporating HIIT into your next workout?
P.S. Don’t forget to warm up and cool down before and after each HIIT session!