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What Is High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)?

Given the lifestyle most people have to live with, it is not always possible to spare enough time for fitness. Studies have revealed that almost 30% of people don’t get enough exercise. No matter how busy your schedule is, it is possible to boost your physical health with the right fitness routine. Exercising has several health benefits, from muscular developments to enhanced brain activities, but not all fitness routines are suitable for all types of people. The High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), which has become all the rage in recent times, can make an excellent option for people looking for faster results. Besides improving the overall metabolism, it also helps combat medical conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and cardiac diseases. In case you are not familiar with this high-intensity fitness program, this article provides you with all the information you need to make the most of your fitness routine.

Fitness

In our everyday schedules, finding time for exercises can be challenging. With a competent fitness program like HIIT, achieving your fitness goals is no longer a burden. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is an umbrella term form a wide range of exercises involving running, stair climbing, rowing, or exercising using jumping ropes. In general, these exercises are highly intense, requiring you to work up a sweat fast. After a robust start, you will need to recoil for a short recovery period, gearing up for the final round of high-intensity workouts. This workout program is beneficial if you are looking for a brief workout spell, for HIIT exercises don’t involve working out for long hours as long as you are keeping a steady pace. HIIT workouts have proven to deliver immediate results and can burn calories for 2 hours after your training. In this fitness routine, you are bound to lose your excess fat, build muscles, and improve your metabolism. Here are some of the popular forms of HIIT exercises, which can help you smash your fitness goals:

  • Burpee Interval Workout:

The burpee interval workout session comprises of a combination of exercises, from pull-ups, jumping jacks to burpees. There are fixed durations for each program, and you need to repeat the circuit four times.

  • Jump Rope Interval Workout:

Just like the burpee interval training, the jump rope interval workout requires you to complete the circuit four times, with adequate breaks after every round. Generally, you need to do mountain climbers and push-ups for the first phase of the workout, repeating them for 30 times. Additionally, you will need to do a front plank and jump ropes for 1 min. 

  • Lower-Body Interval Workout:

Lower-body interval workouts constitute a range of exercises, sprints, squat jumps, lunges, calf raises are only to name a few. In general, you need to complete the circuit four times, taking 1-min breaks after calf raises. If you are doing sprint and squat jumps, make sure you are maintaining the standard time chart, which is 30-45 seconds. For lunges and calf raises, you need to repeat your moves as many times as recommended.

  • Abs Interval Workout:

Regular abs interval training includes crunches (50 times), sit-ups (15 times), hanging knee raises (15 times), oblique crunches (40 times) and half burpees (20 sec), with 1-min breaks after each half burpee.

  • Stair Stepper Workout:

You can do stair stepper interval workout on any machine that has built-in piston-leg functions. Machines like Cybex Arc, Keiser Runner, Versa-Climber are viable stair-stepping equipment, requiring you to keep your foot on a fixed pedal. The workout follows the standard 30sec time frame, with short breaks between the rounds.

HIIT workouts are formed of intense exercises that deliver instant results. The best part of these workouts is its versatility, for you have the liberty to choose your options best on your prospects. In case gym workouts are too much for you, you can opt for light home-based exercises.

HIIT and Healthy Living

A healthy lifestyle is something we all want to accomplish, but exercising alone cannot help you boost your living standards. While workout routines are essential to keep your brain active for optimum brain functions, there are certainly other factors you need to take into consideration. HIIT workouts have widely become a popular fitness routine for its beneficial attributes, which range from a higher metabolism, advanced cognitive functions to outstanding physical health. HIIT training, when accompanied by other fitness components like the keto diet, intermittent fasting, etc., can help you build a robust fitness program, enabling you to maintain a good living standard. 

  • Keto Diet

One of the most highly recommended diet plans, the keto diet is a low-carb, high-fat dietary plan, prompting you to lose fat faster and more effectively. This is an excellent option if you are looking to cut out the excess body fat without having to stay hungry for long durations. Also, keto diets have proven to eliminate critical medical conditions, such as type 2 diabetes. Either way, a keto diet, when followed with consistent workout routines, can be rewarding for your physical wellbeing. Here’s a brief insight into the dietary elements of this diet:

  • Traces of carbs
  • Fish and seafood
  • Cheese
  • Natural Fats
  • Eggs
  • Leafy vegetables

As evident from the name, this form of diet involves reducing carbohydrate intake and substituting it with fats. Consequently, you should remove carb foods from your plan, whether it is starchy consumables like bread, rice, and potatoes or soda and juices.

  • Intermittent Fasting

As opposed to the standard recommendation of eating every 3-4 hours, many nutritionists suggest that intermittent fasting can help you reduce faster. Put simply, intermittent fasting is a practice of deliberately skipping meals – some people choose to fast for an entire day to boost their metabolism. IF is a fantastic way to manage hunger, which is essential for anyone who wishes to get back in shape. This technique might not deliver overnight results, but it is advantageous in maintaining a low body fat percentage. Also, this can be an exciting approach if you want to sustain your long-term fitness goals since it is a practical option for in-shape people.

Intermittent fasting can be of various types, depending on individual requirements. You can go without foods for an entire day, following the alternate-day fasting or whole-day fasting. For a shorter frequency plan, you can choose time-restricted feeding, which involves a unique meal plan interspersed with brief spells of fasting. If you are taking your meal between 8 am to 3 pm, you continue fasting for the rest of the day.   

Most low-calorie diets bring about physiological changes in your bodies and are not sustainable in the long run. Besides, restricting your calorie intake can deter your weight loss plans. Intermittent fasting approaches are conducive to your metabolism, enabling you to switch between low-calorie diet and regular eating as and when required. For more efficient outcomes, combine this approach with high-intensity fitness training.

Summary

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) comes with several health benefits, from a memory boost to a faster weight loss. As a high-impact weight loss program, it involves a range of high-intensity workouts, with periods of less-intense activities or rest. Much to your convenience, HIIT workouts can be done from anywhere, requiring little or no gym equipment. If hitting the gym is not your cup of tea, try running or free-hand exercises. At any rate, this form of training guarantees to deliver results in subsequent sessions, as long as you are strictly following the recommendations.

For faster effects, you can opt for intermittent fasting (IF) or low-calorie diets along with your physical training and make the most of your fitness goals. Besides the physical wellbeing, which tops the priority list, this intense workout regimen can be highly beneficial in improving cognitive functions. HIIT exercises aim to deliver a holistic fitness solution, catering to all the vital aspects of the body. People suffering from diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, etc. can alleviate their conditions by keeping their weight in check. As most people run on tight schedules, sparing enough time for exercise is not feasible. Given our sedentary lifestyles, leaving fitness out of the equation is out of the question. With HIIT programs, you can turn your fitness goals into reality. Since HIIT’s highly intense exercises are recommended only twice or thrice a week, it offers a practical solution for anybody who is looking to reduce those extra kilos without hitting the gym.

 

Sources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6763680/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30717757

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/benefits-of-hiit

https://www.shape.com/fitness/workouts/8-benefits-high-intensity-interval-training-hiit

https://greatist.com/fitness/hiit-workouts-should-be-done-how-often

 

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