High-intensity interval training (HIIT) describes fitness workouts that alternate between high-level bursts of activity and low-intensity activity or rest.
Whether you’re looking to shed a few pounds, fit into those Spring and Summer clothes, have more energy, or improve your overall health, physical activity is important. Interval-type workouts have become popular for a variety of reasons, and they come in a variety of formats.
One of my personal favorite examples is alternating 20 seconds of high-level activity with 20 seconds of very slow walking for a period of 12 minutes total. Choose between a variety of activities for the 20 seconds of high-level activity, i.e. running in place, push-ups, jumping jacks, knee lifts, lunges, jumping rope (without an actual rope is fine), or stair climbing.
Important: Use a timer (smart phone works great). The old “1000-one, 1000-two, 1000-three” routine is tough to do when you’re sprinting in place. 🙂
In the photo above, I participated in an interval workout led by Dr Jake at Freedom Family Chiropractic in Garner, North Carolina…outside in a parking lot. People of all ages and fitness levels were able to modify the exercises to safely join the fun. So cool!
Research shows several benefits of high-intensity interval training workouts:
— Fitness benefits in less time than with endurance-type activities.
— Burn more fat and calories for 24 hours after your workout than with a steady-pace activity.
— Lose fat while maintaining muscle.
— Increase your production of human growth hormone (HGH) for 24 hours after your workout, slowing down the aging process.
Here are a few more perks:
— Less boredom with the variety of activities that can be involved.
— Little or no equipment required.
— You can do it anywhere… inside, outside, at home, in a hotel, on vacation.
As with any exercise program, consult your health care professional before beginning.
Choose activities that can be modified to the intensity that fits your fitness level and overall health, i.e. (non-jumping) jacks with alternating side steps versus full-out jumping jacks. Just be sure to keep moving — quickly — during your high-level bursts of activity.
This was me after some interval fitness during a sunrise on the beach in Mexico earlier this month. Yes… it works anywhere!
Enjoy the benefits!
Here for you,