Don’t be fooled by the name, High-Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT, is not as scary as it may sound. These quick workouts offer many benefits, including a healthier heart, lowered blood pressure, more energy, lowered risk of diabetes, and reduced body fat.
In truth, High-Intensity Interval Training is more of a strategy than a routine. The idea is to incorporate alternat
ing spurts of intense
workouts with less intense ones. These routines get your heart rate going, and then allow it to slow down a bit, which may increase your glucose metabolism and improve your athletic capacity.
Interested? Here are some basic ways to try HIIT for yourself when walking, running or using stairs:
Do you enjoy walking as a workout? Then next time you hit the road, try walking at a brisk pace for thirty seconds, then walk for one minute at a slower pace. Repeat. If you use a treadmill and prefer to maintain a leisurely pace, try adding an incline for one minute, then two minutes without. As before, repeat. You should notice a difference in your heart rate and breathing.
Are you a runner? Like walking, you can adjust speed and incline. Another idea is to setup two points on a flat surface to run to. Sprint from one end to the other, then jog back to the first. Repeat this activity over and over while monitoring your breathing and heart rate to ensure safety.
Stairs can also be a great tool for High-Intensity Interval Training. If you live in a building with stairs, try walking up the first set, then climb the second set with much more intensity. Only have one set of stairs available? No problem. Run up them, and then walk down. As before, repeat.
As some people progress, they like to add different activities into their training. Running vigorously in place for thirty seconds, and then doing curls, sit-ups, or other weight training, before going back to running in place, for example. The beauty of High-Intensity Interval Training is that it can be combined with almost any existing routine.
Before trying any new exercise regimen, you need to check with your physician to ensure you are healthy enough. If these workouts start to lose their effectiveness, try adding light weights to your wrists and ankles to boost intensity. Have fun and enjoy HIIT!