We all know that eating right and staying active is the best way to ensure fitness, wellbeing and sparkle in our every days lives. But we also know that it’s not always that easy to maintain the right balance too. Sometimes our busy schedules can hinder our good intentions. Sometimes we can have a mental block. Sometimes we can just plain crave eating some foods that we deem ‘naughty’ and slobbing in front of the TV for a day. Let me tell you, all of these things are normal. And what’s more, they’re ok too. We’re human! And the biggest challenge when it comes to keeping up a healthy lifestyle is knowing exactly how to work it so that we actually want to do it. There really is no point in taking on the C25K challenge if you literally hate running. You won’t stick to it! But maybe a HIIT work out is one that you can? Not sure what HIIT is? It’s nothing new really- as we’ll explain- and here are three little reason why it could just work for you.
What is HIIT?
Put simply, HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. It basically means that you train intensively for short intervals throughout your workout. In between the short intervals, you rest. Sounds good right? And it is! High intensity interval training has huge benefits according to research. Studies have found that training this way can help the body to burn fat at higher rates, and it also boosts the metabolism too, so that you continue to burn fat throughout the rest of the day.
HIIT works effectively in this way because your it raises your body’s hear rate, and keeps it raised throughout the workout. During the workout your body will run out of oxygen, forcing it to require more in order to recover. This is where the metabolism is sped up, and where fat burning happens, up to hours after the you leave the gym. The idea is that the harder you work out in the short intervals, the more your body will burn fat and for longer afterwards. So during a HIIT workout you’re encouraged to really go for it for between 30-60 seconds, before taking a short break (20-30 seconds) and starting again.
So could it work for you? Here are three reasons why it might…
It only takes 20-30 minutes
Because of the way that you train during a HIIT workout, 20-30 minutes is all you need to commit to. Any more than this isn’t recommended, so keep the workout short and sweet, and get on with the rest of your day. HIIT workouts then, are perfect for those of us with really busy lifestyles who just never seem to be able to fit a decent workout in. We can all spare 20 minutes, right? We can set our alarms a little earlier in the morning to get a HIIT workout in before breakfast, can’t we? Just think of all that fat burning your body will be doing for the rest of the day!
You don’t have to go to the gym
If you read this post and related to it, then you can relax if you think that HIIT means you need to renew that gym membership. You really don’t need a gym! You don’t even need any equipment really. The idea is that you work really hard in the active periods during the workout- and this can be a simple sprint on the spot if you want. Or it can be a sprint in the park. Or start jumps. Or push ups. Or mix it up! The idea is to work your body into the intervals of active and inactive to get the benefits. This can be done at home, in the park OR in the gym if you prefer. As long as you do it, it doesn’t matter what your surroundings are!
Honestly, you do not need to be an elite athlete to complete a HIIT workout. You can tailor the work to your abilities and you can take longer rests if you need to. With the effectiveness of this way of training, you’ll find that your fitness levels start to improve quite quickly anyway. The aim is for your heart rate to go up during the active sets, then go down again during the rest intervals. As long as you work as hard as you can, you’re doing ok.