Today I'm talking about the form of exercise that made me fall in love with cardio and got me from being a girl who only liked yoga and walking to being a girl who loves pushing herself, getting super sweaty and even lifting weights.
I'm talking HIIT which stands for high intensity interval training. I first started HIIT around 3 years ago when I was looking to lose a little body fat and tone up but primarily I just wanted to feel fit and strong. High Intensity Interval Training particularly appealed to me because it can be done within half an hour (that's with the warm up and cool down included too!) - I'm someone who gets bored quite easily during cardio and I often don't have much time in the day so quick workouts that still push you to your limits and give you results are what I'm all about!
What is HIIT?
HIIT, or high-intensity interval training, is a training technique in which you give 100% effort through quick, shorter, intense bursts of exercises followed by a short (active) recovery period. This gets your heart rate up and burns more fat in less time. You also get an afterburner effect which means you burn calories for hours after you've finished your HIIT session as your metabolic rate is raised.
What Are The Benefits Of HIIT?
Regular HIIT workouts will make you leaner, fitter and stronger! They'll also increase your energy levels, up your happiness and make you feel awesome!
• HIIT workouts are short, you don't need to push yourself through a gruelling 90 minute workout to get results, just 20 minutes of HIIT will do the job! You can go to a HIIT class, follow an online video (linked later in this blog post) or go to the gym and do HIIT on the treadmill - do a 30 second sprint then 30 seconds walking, repeat 15-20 times and you're done!
• You can do it anywhere, which is a huge bonus if you're on a budget so can't afford gym fees or if you travel a lot. You can do a HIIT session in your bedroom, in your garden, at the local park, in a hotel room or if you're lucky enough...on the beach!
• HIIT can be tailored to your specific fitness levels or fitness goals - anyone can do it! Whether you're 18 years old or 60 you can make HIIT work for you. If you're at the beginning of your fitness journey perhaps start with lower intensity, low impact HIIT such as a power walk on the treadmill, whereas if you're a fitness junkie get those sprints in!
• Jogging is good but it doesn't burn calories for hours post-workout, unlike HIIT. After you've finished a HIIT session your body will be burning calories and shredding fat for hours!
• You don't need any equipment! Yes, I mentioned doing HIIT on a treadmill but you really don't need anything. You could do high knees, burpees, jumping lunges, star jumps, mountain climbers, anything! I love to mix it up to keep my body guessing and working hard.
Since incorporating HIIT into my regular workout routine 3-4 days a week I've noticed a big increase in my cardiovascular fitness level, my body feels stronger, I feel leaner and I have more energy. I can eat more without putting on weight, I don't miss workouts because I can easily squeeze in 30 minutes of exercise and my mood is always lifted after a good HIIT session.
I recommend HIIT to anyone - whether you're trying to increase your fitness, lose a little weight, tone up or you just want to try a new fun and interesting way to work out. You can find local classes but I like to follow Fitness Blender videos on YouTube.
What's your favourite form of exercise?