High-intensity interval training, also known as HIIT, has become a popular and effective workout routine for celebrities and gym-goers looking for a new challenge. If you want to give this calorie-burning, strength-building activity a try, here’s how to make sure you’re going about it safely and efficiently.
The Science Behind It
HIIT workouts incorporate short, intense bursts of anaerobic exercise with periods of recovery. The workout and rest period lengths will differ depending on your fitness level and goals.
Several recent studies have shown positive results when it comes to the effects of HIIT workouts. One study found that 10 minutes of HIIT performed three days a week for six weeks improved participants’ blood sugar scores and aerobic capacity.
Experts say the key is getting your heart rate above 80 percent of its maximum capacity during the high-intensity portions of the workout.
Work Out Stronger, Not Longer
Recovery between workouts is vital to the success of this type of training. One trainer recommends doing HIIT no more than three to four times a week to avoid injury.
Additionally, these workouts shouldn’t take very long. A total time of 10 minutes (including rest) is a typical HIIT workout length. The key to a successful session is intervals of intensity, not how long it lasts overall.
- Warmups are extremely important. Since this is such a short and intense workout, make sure your body is adequately prepared.
- Full-body movements are integral to HIIT. To gain the maximum benefits, choose well-rounded cardio activities, like jumping jacks or sprints, rather than smaller movements, like bicep curls.
No matter what type of exercise you choose, it’s essential to follow the advice of experts and speak to your health care professional about any big changes in physical activity.