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What is a HIIT Workout?

Lifestyle & Fitness • 08 May 2017

The latest buzzword on the fitness scene is HIIT - health professionals are singing praises about its benefits and its effectiveness in losing weight, building muscle and increasing stamina.



What is HIIT?

HIIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training and refers to any workout that alternates between intense bursts of activity and periods of less-intense activity.

An example of an HIIT session you could do at home is a HIIT session involving skipping:

For 30 seconds skip at the fastest pace you can, followed by 30 seconds to 1 minute of complete rest. Repeat this ten times.

HIIT is popular amongst athletes as it is a quick and effective workout, using basic training methods, and is a relatively cost effective way to get into shape. It’s easy to do at home, is a fast way to relieve stress and brings about big results in a short amount of time. A person can achieve more progress and burn more fat and calories doing 15 minutes of HIIT 3 times a week, than jogging on the treadmill for an hour.

Even better, your body continues to burn calories after your workout, as HIIT kicks the body’s repair cycle into hyper drive – which means you’ll be burning fat even as you sit at your desk! HIIT is therefore very effective for weight loss and in helping to maintain that weight loss.

Why should I do HIIT?

Incorporating HIIT into your daily workout will help you burn excess fat, increase your metabolic rate, tone all of your muscle groups and improve your fitness and stamina.

But is it good for you?

As with all things in life, there are some downsides to HIIT. It is not recommended that complete beginners incorporate HIIT into their training, as they can put their joints, hips, knees, ankles and heart under stress. It’s better to start off slowly and build up your fitness before starting to do HIIT regularly. It’s also recommended that sufferers of chronic diseases such as heart disease, arthritis and diabetes consult their physicians before they begin doing any form of HIIT.

Below are three HIIT workouts for beginners that you can do at home:

Please Note: if you’re a complete beginner to exercise and working out and you still would like to incorporate HIIT into your training, it is recommended that you start off very slowly. For example, speed walk for half a block and then walk at a normal pace for a block. Repeat for twenty minutes. Once you can do this with ease, then begin jogging for half a block, building up to a sprint as you get fitter.

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