High Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT, is a form of cardiovascular exercise that will help you improve on your existing fitness levels, as well as tone up and shed any unwanted weight. Practiced by alternating between high intensity anaerobic exercises and interspaced with less intense recovery periods, HIIT workouts will get your heart pumping and the sweat pouring off you!
HIIT has been used by fitness fanatics and athletes worldwide as an effective way of increasing cardiovascular health, boosting metabolism, boosting endurance, challenging your fast twitch muscle fibres and toning the entire body.
The idea behind this type of exercising is that when you couple short bursts of high intensity training with less intense resting periods, the total amount of time you need to be working out for is dramatically reduced. So an average HIIT class may go for between 5-30 minutes.
Workouts will include high intensity exercises, such as push ups, high knees, burpees, skipping, jumping jacks and jump squats (just to name a few), with a medium to low intensity exercise for 1 minute or so, as the rest period in between. So essentially you never stop exercising, you just alternate between high and low intensity. A perfect example would be sprinting for 20 seconds then walking for a minute, before sprinting for another 20 seconds.
HIIT workouts work to improve both your anaerobic and aerobic energy systems, which means that HIIT will help you build both levels of endurance. They will also have your body burning calories for hours even after you have finished. This is because the body’s natural ability to return to homeostasis after a workout, referred to as ‘exercise post oxygen consumption’, requires calories to be burnt. So your body keeps churning through those calories even after you have sat down.
So if you have minimum time available to work out, but want to get the maximum results for you time, fit in a HIIT workout and feel the difference.