High Intensity Interval Training, sometimes referred to as HIIT, is primarily to boost overall cardiovascular fitness. It has been described by Shape magazine to be, “Any workout that alternates between intense bursts of activity and fixed periods of less-intense activity or even complete rest.” The intense bursts of exercise are best described as the burning feeling in the muscles and legs when one exerts themselves to the utmost. The science behind this exercise strategy depends on putting the body into the anaerobic zone for a few minutes at time.
The American College of Sports Medicine in 2011 presented a study indicating that two weeks of HIIT exercises could boost the body’s aerobic capacity as much as almost 2 months of endurance training. Not only is the body more physically fit, but HIIT exercises have been shown to burn more fat and calories than other forms of exercise. For those exercising to lose weight, High Intensity Intervals, although short in duration are highly effective in providing tangible results. Unlike dieting, HIIT workouts maintain muscle while losing fat. Other endurance exercises like running and cycling have been shown to burn muscle while boosting cardio ability. Loghborough University in the United Kingdom released a study in 2002 showing metabolisms boost 450% when doing high intensity workouts, meaning that long after your Interval Training Workout is over, your body will still be burning calories. The extra push your heart receives from the exertion of HIIT exercises also strengthens the heart.
Unlike many fitness trends, HIIT requires no special equipment outside of comfortable exercise clothing and a good pair of shoes. After establishing a good High Intensity Interval Training regime, it is a fast and effective workout that can be done anytime, anywhere.
Because these exercises are strenuous and require the maximum exertion of the body, it is best to talk your doctor before beginning a HIIT exercise regime. As with any exercise, if you experience pain during the workout, it is essential to stop and fully recover. Failure to do so can result in serious injury.
For a personally designed program work with a personal trainer at the Aspen Club & Spa to create the best set of intervals for your fitness levels and abilities.