Do you want to lose weight and get fit, but struggle to find the time to do it? If so, high-intensity interval training, most commonly known as HIIT fitness, may be the perfect fit for you! What exactly is HIIT training? Read on to find out!
High-Intensity Interval Training Overview
HIIT is a cardiovascular exercise structured into a combination of two unique activities of aerobic and anaerobic exercises for an optimal workout in a short amount of time. HIIT is a great workout program for beginners through advanced exercise enthusiasts.
Those that adopt a HIIT workout program for beginners will see results quickly, which serves as a great motivator to continue with the program! The small time investment is also a great way for beginners to stick with the program!
Parents that are stressed and short on time may find high-intensity interval training to be a particularly beneficial program for their families to enjoy within their lifestyle. Fitness has been shown to have improvements in terms of academic focus, increasing memory ability, learning, and understanding, which results in improved test results, plus enhancing the stronger mindset for thinking, problem-solving, and even personal confidence.
High-intensity interval training has been proven to have many health benefits. Because it is a short session with intense challenges to conquer, it gives more bang for your buck. While there are tons of benefits of HIIT, we’re going to provide an overview of the top three high-intensity interval training benefits.
High-intensity interval training has scientifically been proven to reverse aging at a cellular level according to the Mayo Clinic. Oxygen consumption is increased through the high-intensity workout, transforming your cellular formation to that of a younger person.
Boosting the cell’s energy factors results in an increase in exercise performance, keeping muscles toned, but limp for better movement, and decreases the risks of fragility and depletion of cells, resulting in the possibility of injuries.
The overall health of people’s mitochondria amplifies the state of their overall well-being. The better a person’s mitochondria capacity results in improved breathing, blood cell transportation and oxygen utilization, which increases their performance in all physical activity.
Exercise truly is the best medicine for staying young.
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A high-intensity interval training program can be anything from 10 to 60 minutes in length, switching back and forth between short bursts of aerobic and anaerobic activity. It burns more calories because your body isn’t able to rest completely during the process, so the heart remains beating at a strong rate. The average personwho does a 20-minute HIIT workout burns more calories than someone who has worked out on cardio machines for over an hour.
This type of fitness activity requires using more of the body’s energy to complete the intense movements when switching from moderate to extreme levels of endurance during the exercise. Because you are leaving little time for your body to recover in the aerobic stages, your body turns to the leftover carbohydrates in your body to burn as energy as you tire during the anaerobic exercises. This gives you a total body workout in a timely and quick fashion that doesn’t disturb your busy schedule, especially when you are a parent with limited time!
BIGGER HEALTH GAINS
HIIT fitness activities improve cardiovascular endurance and help keep glucose levels stable. High-intensity interval training even improves metabolic health, particularly in people who are at risk or have Type 2 Diabetes.
This style of fitness offers an increase in oxygen, which assists the heart with a healthy flow of blood, transporting cells and nutrients throughout the body. Oxygen enables the body to effectively use its energy and doing HIIT exercises means the body effectively uses and reproduce new energy cells.
Another big area of focus for people is targeting their muffin top. Can HIIT reduce stomach fat? The answer is a big fat YES! According to a 2018 meta-analysis cited in The Washington Post, which looked at 39 studies involving 617 subjects. “HIIT significantly reduced total (p = 0.003), abdominal (p = 0.007), and visceral (p = 0.018) fat mass,” the study’s authors said.
High-intensity interval training burns more calories and fat in a healthy way and you’ll also continue to burn calories for up to 24 hours after the workout. So, because you are challenging your body to workout at different intensity levels by doing a HIIT workout, your body then congratulates you by working hard at losing fat while gaining muscle tone.
When a person is doing an interval training workout, they are constantly pushing themselves into different mindset stages, therefore challenging their mind as well as body and going out of their personal comfort zone. A HIIT program often allows a person to become more open-minded to other challenges and more open to experiences outside of the workout.
High-intensity interval training can also help with a number of other health conditions. The American College of Sports Medicine cites that HIIT can positively impact:
- Blood pressure
- Cardiovascular health
- Insulin sensitivity
- Cholesterol profiles
- Abdominal fat
As with every workout routine or exercise, safety is important. Always be sure to check with your doctor before performing an intense activity, such as HIIT, especially if you have previous health concerns.
A HIIT program can be extremely intense, so HIIT should not be done every day. It is recommended that you only perform HIIT 2-3 times a week, with good rest in between.
As important as it is to exercise, it is equally important to allow your body to rest and repair muscles tissue. Build active recovery days that include walking and other low impact exercises into your weekly fitness program.
Yoga is a great way to supplement your HIIT workout days and aid in recovery. Check out our curated free yoga workout playlist on YouTube. Also, be sure to use the proper form of posture and movements as directed by your instructors.
FREE HIIT WORKOUTS
We have personally selected over 100 high-intensity interval training workouts and put together this free HIIT workout playlist on YouTube. The workouts include a mix of styles, levels, and durations.
We also have a list of almost 70 free quick home workouts that take only 15 minutes or less! Check out our YouTube Quick Workouts playlist here and be sure to save it for later! We’re always discovering new workout on-demand videos and adding to it!
INTRO DIY TABATA HIIT WORKOUT
Here is a tabata-style high-intensity interval training for beginner through advanced level to try out. You can always modify it by adding weights, challenging yourself to complete more reps, and switching out the exercises with others:
STAY MOTIVATED WITH GREAT MUSIC
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I’ve always wanted to try HIIT abs it sounds awesome. I have to admit though that I’m a bit intimidated but I have to look into it more. Thanks for the info.
These are some great tips! Love it all!
I like how you have the example at the end! I’ll have to try it out.
I love doing HIIT to burn calories!
I love incorporating HIIT into my cross-training routine!
Me too! It is a great way to up your speed and endurance in other activities like running and biking!
Go for it! The time flies by!
I LOVE HIIT. Helps you get in a quick/intense/effective workout when you’re short on time
I’ve done some HiiT and find it very effective. This round of exercises sounds pretty intense. I’ll have to give it a try, Thanks for the workout idea.
I agree, HIIT is a great way to get fit. I can no longer do the types of high intensity you mentioned but when I could it was awesome. I’m going to try to get back on the spin bike sometime soon and once I get back into it, I love high intensity on that. Wish me luck lol
HIIT workouts have been my go-to as a busy mom! Quick and effective! My blood pressure has improved so much since I’ve started working out this way.
Great post! I totally agree with you. I’ll take 20 minutes of HIIT over running an hour any day. Running gets boring. With HIIT, you can keep it interesting by switching up your routine.
Thanks for your comments!
You included a lot of great information about HIIT! Any exercise can do a body good, especially the quick and constant movements during a HIIT workout. As a runner, I am always looking for new and different ways to maintain muscle and keep my body strong so it can handle the miles. I have only tried 1 or 2 HIIT workouts. I will have to add yours to my rotation. Thanks for the post!
My pleasure! I’m a runner too and HIIT has really helped my endurance and speed. Hope it does the same for you!
Maybe I’m the only one, but some of those exercises I’m not exactly sure what they are or how to do them. Do you have a link to a page with photos or video demos?
So sorry for the belated reply! Someday, I hope to post workout videos of my own, but in the meantime, here are three options:
1) This offers pretty good instructions and alternative HIIT workouts – http://dailyburn.com/life/db/hiit-workouts-for-beginners/
2) You can google search (i.e. How to do plank jacks). YouTube has a lot of high-quality demos. Popsugar Fitness is also a good source of how-tos and techniques.
3) order The 30-Second Body book: http://ow.ly/X9OO30fyUvn @Amazon. I LOVE this book. It has workout options for beginner to advanced and it is paperback and portable! Plus, used copies are under $10 with shipping!