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HIIT hype

Uncategorized Nov 28, 2019

You may have heard the term HIIT training floating around in the last couple of years but have absolutely no idea what it means. Don’t worry, it has nothing to do with hitting anyone or any form of physical abuse.

HIIT actually stands for high intensity interval training which is a training technique in which you vary periods of all-out, 100% effort followed by short, sometimes active, periods of recovery. This method of training increases your heart rate and keeps it high, which means you are able to burn more fat in less time.

Why bother? That sounds like torture?
Well here are some benefits that may change your mind.

It’s super short and convenient
Most HIIT sessions are 30min or less, can be done with minimal or no equipment and can be completed nearly anywhere!

Variety of exercises
There are so many different exercises that can be used in a HIIT program - there’s something for everyone!

Not just for the young and “springy”
The “catch” with HIIT is that it does need a high exertion level, so sometimes it can become a little more difficult to do super intense HIIT as you age. However, even with decreasing the intensity of the workout, you can still enjoy the benefits. Even just incorporating short faster bursts of activity into a walk can be beneficial. As long as you’re putting in all-out effort for those intervals. But as always, it’s recommended to have doctors clearance before starting any higher intensity exercise program.

Increases metabolism
Yep. HIIT training, when done properly, can enable your body to burn more fat at rest. This is due to a wonderful body reaction called Exercise Post Oxygen Consumption (EPOC). HIIT training increases your heart rate up to near maximum which increases your body’s need for oxygen. The body then overcompensates for the oxygen deficit even after the workout ends. Studies have found that EPOC can last for up to 36hours after the workout session which means you’ll be burning extra calories for a day and a half following your HIIT session!

Exercise? I thought you said extra fries? 🍟 😋

There’s a whole bunch of other benefits for your health
HIIT training helps to decrease heart rate, blood pressure and help to lower blood sugar levels. HIIT training has been shown beneficial in fat loss and building muscle and strength and helps to improve overall oxygen consumption of your body.

It’s fun!
Go on, roll your eyes... but the short, fast pace of the exercises make it more enjoyable. HIIT classes are often run in a group so there’s lots of opportunities to socialise and challenge each other! (Side note: HIIT does not have to be in a group situation but completing exercises with friends is a great way to increase motivation)

So sign you up? Thought so.

But a couple of suggestions to help ease you into HIIT training.

  • ALWAYS warm up
  • Know your intervals and your fitness level - if you’re newer to HIIT training, maybe have slightly shorter work periods or longer rest periods until you advance.
  • Know your schedule - aim for 2-3 sessions per week for optimal benefits, HIIT is a very intense form of training and rest days are important for recovery and injury prevention.
  • Maintain good form or have instruction prior if unsure - you can always chat to your Physiotherapist about it (plug)
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