So, you wish you could reap the benefits of regular exercise, but you just don’t have the time. A high-intensity interval training, or HIIT, may be just what your body needs.
It’s a type of workout that integrates short bursts of high-intensity exercise – such as sprinting, biking, stair climbing, or rope jumping – with low-intensity recovery activities, such as walking or simply resting. All it takes is 15 to 45 minutes at a time, yet researchers have found that just a few minutes of HIIT may be as good for your body’s cells as 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise.
HIIT Benefits for Your Body
The benefits of a HIIT workout are many:
- A higher number of calories can be burned more quickly.
- It’s effective for long-term fat loss and overall conditioning because it increases your metabolism, which means you continue burning calories long after you stop exercising.
- It trains your body to use its fat reserves – rather than carbs – for energy.
- It reduces body fat and, thus, trims your waistline.
- You can gain muscle mass.
- It increases your oxygen consumption.
- It lowers your blood sugar level.
- It reduces your heart rate and blood pressure – especially if you are overweight.
- It stresses your body in a positive way, which forces it to adapt and increases your physical endurance.
How to HIIT
Because it’s flexible, getting started on a HIIT program is simple. All you need to do is choose a set of activities and repeat them several times with brief rest periods (less than 30 seconds) in between. The purpose of this is to keep your heart rate up throughout the workout. Your recovery period can also be lower-intensity movement.
For example, you might want to start with dumbbell squats, doing as many as you can within 30 seconds, then briefly rest before repeating the exercise. Or perhaps you’d prefer jogging or briskly walking a treadmill, followed by 30 to 60 seconds of recovery time before repeating.
In terms of timing your HIIT workout, you can do the traditional Tabata method for a total of four minutes, which involves eight rounds of 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of recovery, or four rounds of 40 seconds of work and 20 seconds of recovery.
However, before embarking on a HIIT workout regimen, consult with your physician. Also, as with any new exercise program, you should start slowly then gradually work your way up for maximum benefit – and so you don’t injure yourself.
Exercise Rehab Expertise in Oregon and Washington
The exercise rehabilitation specialists at Lynx Healthcare use progressive strengthening exercises, as well as other techniques to reduce pain and help restore mobility following a disabling illness, surgery, or injury. We can advise you on whether a HIIT workout program is right for you.
At Lynx Healthcare, we aim to provide the highest quality of care to get your body moving and functioning properly again. Learn more about our services, and how they may speed up your recovery, by contacting us.
Call us at one of the Lynx Healthcare clinics in Washington at (509) 591-0070, or contact our Spokane clinic at (509) 321-4575, to make an appointment. You may also request an appointment online. We look forward to helping you lead a more active, vibrant life.