Want to burn more calories, boost your fitness and improve your health in less time? Take a break from those traditional steady-state workouts and try high-intensity interval training (HIIT)!
One of the hottest fitness trends of 2016, HIIT involves alternating short intense bursts of exercise (think sprinting) with either low-intensity recovery (such as easy walking) or complete rest in between. Both cardio and strength workouts can be done in intervals to pump up your heart rate and metabolism.
Recent studies suggest that HIIT can significantly increase cardiovascular fitness compared to moderate-intensity, continuous training. Plus, according to a new meta-analysis published in the journal Obesity Reviews, it may be more effective for losing weight and improving metabolic health, especially for those with or at risk of type 2 diabetes.
HIIT isn’t just for hard-core athletes. Randomized, controlled studies have demonstrated its safety and effectiveness for exercisers of all ages and fitness levels. If you’ve been inactive for a few months or more, start by building up a base of cardiovascular fitness before trying HIIT.
HIIT pushes the body hard, so it’s important to allow your body to fully recover between workouts. About two HIIT sessions a week is plenty. Combine with your regular moderate-intensity cardio and strength workouts for optimal results.