Benefits of High Intensity Interval Training
Do you find yourself having trouble making time to get a beneficial workout? Don’t worry, there is a time efficient methodology proven to not only maintain fitness levels but significantly improve all aspects of fitness.
What is HIIT?
According to the American College of Sports Medicine in 2014, High Intensity Interval Training is best defined as repeated bouts of maximal effort exercise with varied recovery periods. The bouts are short making it an efficient way to improve all aspects of fitness in as little time as possible. The exercises should be multi-joint by nature (more than just bicep curls). They can last anywhere from 5 seconds to 8 minutes in duration ranging from 80%-95% maximal heart rate. Maximal heart rate can be estimated through subtracting your age from the number 220. Recovery periods may be as long as the work periods maintaining a 40-50% maximal heart rate.
Is It Safe?
ACSM recommends that individuals with metabolic diseases such as coronary diseases or diabetes check with a doctor prior to engaging in any form of physical activity. However, even individuals who are normally sedentary can benefit from high intensity interval training because it depends on YOUR heart. A great way to introduce your body to HIIT is through starting on a recumbent bike. If still uncomfortable performing HIIT on your own, supervision from a fitness professional will ensure safety and maximal benefits.
What Exercises Fall in the Category of HIIT?
The reason High Intensity Interval is so popular is due to the fact that it can be performed in all exercise modalities including but not limited to cycling, running, swimming, weight training, and plyometric training. HIIT can be applied to any exercise because it is dependent on duration, intensity, frequency, and recovery. HIIT is successful at improving not only aerobic fitness but anaerobic as well.
Why is HIIT Beneficial?
Research and publication through the American College of Sports Medicine has shown HIIT improves aerobic and anaerobic fitness, blood pressure levels, cardiovascular health, insulin sensitivity (improving the way the body uses glucose for fuel), cholesterol levels, body fat percentage, and amount of lean body mass. So go out and give HIIT a try!