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Everything You Need to Know About HIIT

Fitness • April 2, 2018

Fitness fads tend to come and go. It’s probably safe to assume you’re not watching Richard Simmons tapes or walking around the house with your Shake Weight anymore. Although HIIT has become a popular buzzword in recent years, HIIT is more than just hype.

What is HIIT? 
HIIT stands for high-intensity interval training. This tried-and-true training technique is classified by quick, intense bursts of exercise followed by shorter, sometimes active, recovery periods. Although there is no universal session duration, HIIT workouts typically last under an hour. HIIT workouts are easily scalable for any fitness level, making it a popular format for group fitness classes.

How does it work? 
Compared to steady-state cardiovascular exercise routines like running or cycling at a moderate pace, HIIT burns more calories in less time when performed correctly.  The key is ensuring you are giving an all-out effort during the high-intensity intervals of your HIIT routines to get your heart rate up and keep it up throughout the length of the workout. High-intensity workouts increase the body’s need for oxygen both during and after you complete the routine as your body recovers, which means HIIT works to elevate your metabolism and burn calories for hours after your sweat session.

Why should I try it? 
Everyone can benefit from the effects of a HIIT workout! Since HIIT burns more calories than steady-paced routines, you’ll start to see the results of your workouts faster. Combining high intervals with strength training increases calories burned, which speeds fat loss. Thanks to the body’s increased need for oxygen during a HIIT workout, you’ll also start to see an improvement in your endurance over time. This not only means you’ll be able to complete each HIIT session with a little more ease, but your other fitness routine — and life’s everyday activities — will become easier as well. ­

Where can I do it? 
Some HIIT routines rely solely on your bodyweight, meaning you don’t need much equipment to get a good high-intensity workout in. You can try these at-home HIIT routines, or try taking a group class.

As with any exercise, it’s important to give your body time to recover between sessions to truly reap the benefits of your workout. Starting with two HIIT workouts a week will make including this effective method into your routine an easy addition and will give your body the recovery time needed to ensure you can give each session your all. 

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