High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) has gone up and down the ACSM Fitness Trends list. It’s been in and out of the news.
Why does its popularity fluctuate?
What is HIIT?
HIIT consists of intense, short bouts of exercise. Intervals of one to five minutes of exercise alternate with short rest periods or less intense exercises.
It can be very uncomfortable for a lot of people. The work load is high. If you feel like it’s too intense, you can avoid injuries by decreasing your intensity. It may not be the best introduction to fitness if you aren’t very active. You may need a longer recovery period after your workout than you'd need after an hour on the treadmill.
How to Do HIIT
Many HIIT workouts include a short burst of high resistance on a stationary bike for 30 seconds to a minute. This is followed by three minutes of lower resistance and intensity. The cycle repeats a few times.
You can incorporate a little HIIT into your regular workout. Find an exercise you enjoy and include it in your fitness program. HIIT is all about short bursts and will not provide the endurance training you need for a marathon. Be sure any fitness you pursue will help you reach your personal goals.
How HIIT Burns Fat Differently
Traditional exercise burns some fat while you work out. HIIT might not burn as much in a short workout as traditional exercise.
Your body continues to burn energy after the HIIT workout to replenish what it used. This means you’re burning fat after you’ve stopped exercising. It works like resistance training.
There isn’t a lot of research on people only using HIIT to lose weight.
HIIT is great for breaking up your workout if you’re getting bored. But, it could be too much if you’re not used to doing hard work. Tailor as needed by decreasing the intensity and increasing the duration of rest periods if needed.
Listen in as Dr. Brian Parr joins Melanie Cole, MS to discuss the benefits of HIIT.