In this day and age, there is no end to the resources available to us around working out and living a healthy lifestyle in general. While, for the most part, this is a good thing, one slight downside to it is that it's easy to get overwhelmed with it all and to know which workout options are best for your needs.
It can also be difficult fitting exercise into a busy daily routine. If you haven't heard of HIIT workouts before, we're here to tell you all about them – and why you should find the time to do them. Let's check them out!
What is a HIIT Workout?
So, what exactly is a HIIT workout? HIIT stands for 'high-intensity interval training' and also is known as high-intensity intermittent training or sprint interval exercise. This is a form of interval training, which means that you exercise in short, intense bursts until you are too exhausted to go on. Each short period of intense anaerobic exercise is separated by a small recovery period.
The average HIIT workout will last for anything from 10 minutes to 30, and it is arguably one of the most time-efficient ways to work out – meaning that it’s ideal if you’re someone who has a busy schedule and not a lot of time to spare. The amount of time you spend exercising and then recovering intermittently all depends on the type of HIIT workouts you choose to do.
Why You Should Do Them
So, why include HIIT workouts in your daily or weekly routine, then? Let’s talk about it.
- Calorie Burner: HIIT workouts are great for burning a high number of calories in a short amount of time. In fact, studies show that people who do HIIT workouts can burn 30% more calories than with other forms of exercise.
- Keeps Metabolic Rate High: not only are HIIT workouts great for burning lots of calories, but they’re also going to help your body burn more calories after the fact, too. This is because they can keep your metabolism high for hours afterward.
- It's a Fat-Burner: HIIT workouts are great for losing fat if this is your goal. Both conventional moderate-intensity workouts and HIIT exercises can help reduce body fat, and literally, take inches off your waist.
What are the Best HIIT Exercises?
One of the best parts of HIIT workouts is that there are many different options out there that you can incorporate into your daily or weekly routine. This means that if you're not someone who typically enjoys running, you can opt for cycling or even squats. Let's take a look at some of the best HIIT exercises to get that metabolism rate up.
- Stationary Bike: whether at the gym or at home, get on a stationary bike and pedal as fast as you can for 30 seconds. Once 30 seconds is up, you can have a rest, and reduce how fast you're pedaling, for 2-4 minutes. Then, speed things up again, and pedal as fast as you can for another 30 seconds. Do as many of these reps as you can, but again the average length of a HIIT workout is 30 minutes.
- Jogging: if you are someone who enjoys running, you can try incorporating HIIT workouts into your running routine. Once you’ve jogged for a little bit to warm up, sprint as fast as you can for up to 15 seconds. Once 15 seconds is up, jog or even walk for 1-2 minutes. Do as many of these as you can for up to 20 minutes.
- Squats: this popular HIIT workout can also be done with burpees. If you prefer to do it with just squats, you can turn them into squat jumps, to make the most of them. Once you’ve done as many squat jumps as you can for up to 90 seconds, take a rest for 90 seconds. Repeat this pattern until you’ve done it for up to 20 minutes.
Maintaining Your Health in Every Way Possible
Finding the time in your busy routine to look after yourself with HIIT workouts isn’t easy – but the benefits are invaluable. If you’re looking to maintain a healthy weight, or you just want to try and live a healthier lifestyle, HIIT workouts are some of the most effective out there.