High Intensity Interval Training commonly referred to as the “HIIT” method can be used in almost any aerobic format such as walking, biking, treadmill, swimming, rowing, etc… and can be done indoors or outdoors.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
This method combines the aerobic activity of your choice using intervals of shorter fast paced “bursts” alternating with a slower pace. This method can be used with all fitness levels because it goes at the individuals own pace. It should only take you between 5-15 minutes total. You will work up from a shorter to longer period as you progress. This is a big time saver with great results.
BENEFITS OF THE HIIT METHOD:
- Burn more calories in a shorter amount of time
- Increase your metabolism and energy for an extra 24-48 hours.
- Build more muscle and burn more fat, specifically stubborn belly fat.
- Increase the anti-aging hormone, HGH (Human Growth Hormone)
- Improve blood sugar and insulin sensitivity
- Lower your blood pressure
- Sleep better and have more energy throughout the day
HOW TO START HIIT:
- Warm up for 3-5 minutes (marching in place or slow walking)
- Start with 30 seconds of a slower pace followed by 15 seconds of a “sprint” or “burst” of a faster pace. Gradually you can work up to 2 minutes of a slower pace and one full minute of the “burst”. At this point you are going at your maximum capacity while remembering to breathe consistently. Do not hold your breath. We tend to do this during exertion but it lowers our energy levels, so BREATHE!
- Perform HIIT workouts no more than three times per week, resting 48 hours between sessions.
WHAT TO DO IN BETWEEN HIIT WORKOUTS:
- Walking is one of the best forms of exercise. If you are between 12-40 years-old you should be walking an average of 12,000 steps per day.For those between 40-65 years of age, the goal is 10,000 steps and 5,000-7,000 steps for those over 65 years of age.
- Find an activity that varies from your norm, such as a yoga or Tai Chi or a team sport. Keep your activity varied from time to time to challenge yourself.
As with any fitness program, consult your Doctor first. If you are a beginner, train with a professional to achieve correct form and pace.
Jodi Jantomaso,CPT, is owner of Tampa based Compass Coaching. She has specialized in designing creative programs to meet her client’s fitness, food and lifestyle goals since 1984.