Fitability

Deb Bailey AFPA, MAT, CanFitPro, YMCA

HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training, and it's one of the hottest trends in the fitness in the last several years. And with good reason - there are so many benefits to your physical and mental well being.

Here are just a few:

HIIT burns more calories and fat than most other types of exercise regimes. In fact, many hours after you're done sweating, your body is still giving you that great after burn.

You will be able to do more activity, longer when you have HIIT training as part of your routine. That walk or bike ride is easier, faster and longer now.

You don't need any equipment whatsoever! Although it's fun to do HIIT in a gym with lots of stuff available, it isn't needed. All you have to do it apply your effort to the max for a ratio of 2:1. In other words, if you run to your maximum effort for 2 minutes, you do active rest for 1 minute. Repeat. Keep your workouts to 30 minutes, no more, to avoid overuse injuries.

HIT training should be done no more than 3 times a week, and should be supplemented with other types of workouts, such as long slow distance, tempo training, and weight training.

HIIT can help regulate the hormones involved in weight gain, such as ghrelin, also known as the hunger hormone, which stimulates the appetite and slows down the use of body fat. Leptin, on the other hand, regulates food intake and long-term energy stores. Bottom line - HIIT can control both these hormones, increasing weight loss, rate of fat burn, making HIIT an ideal weapon in the battle of the bulge.

What Does a No-Equipment HIIT session Look Like?

1 minute of top effort running. Have to do this inside at home? Try going up and down the stairs as fast as you can safely. Walk around for 30 seconds.

Jumping Jacks for 1 minute. Walk around for 30 seconds

Shadow boxing for 1 minute, as intensely as possible. Walk around for 30 seconds

1 minute of rear lunges (not stationary). Keep up the intensity and you'll feel the burn. Walk around for 30 seconds

Burpees, using the lower couple of steps on your stairs as your platform. Walk around for 30 seconds

Mountain climbers, using the lower couple of step on your stairs as your platform. Walk around for 30 seconds.

Push ups. using the lower couple of step on your stairs as your platform, or do them against the wall. Walk around for 30 seconds.

 

P.S. If you look at this list and see things you don't want to do or find difficult, be creative! Just pick something else that will challenge you hard and substitute that.

Congratulations! You've just done a 10 minute HIIT workout! Next time, repeat this workout two more times this week, and next week increase the work time to 90 seconds, as you're able, and increase the active rest time to 45 seconds. In time, you can get your total HIIT workout time to 30 minutes - and feel great doing it.

 

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