We live at a time and age when
we want to derive the maximum out of any bargain and this desire extends to our
work-out regime too, where we want to derive the maximum benefit with very
little time invested.
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a fitness regime that
alternates between bursts of†
high-intensity exercises and†
low-intensity exercises or even total rest. HIIT helps to improve a
person's fitness in short sessions by cutting out exercise time and by
increasing oxygen consumption, which in turn leads to increased metabolism.
Therefore, the initial phase of
HIIT requires a person to raise heart rates to 85%, or more, beyond its maximum
capacity. The maximum heart rate is calculated by subtracting a person's age
from 220 and by multiplying that value by 85. The resulting value, which is the
target heart rate, decides on the maximum calories a person may burn during
Studies have shown that HIIT is
capable of burning calories within 24 hrs of a session. While it is usually the
choice method that may be incorporated for cardiovascular workouts, it may also
be considered for weight-lifting or sport-specific work outs.
There are some points to be
considered while doing a HIIT. The foremost one is to choose your interval in
accordance with your fitness level. The high-intensity phase must be doable and
tough during which time the person should not be able to utter a full sentence.
The interval after the high-intensity phase must be a very short one, the idea
being to allow the person to push himself.
HIIT sessions last 20-30
minutes and are usually grueling. Some people alternate one minute of walking
with 30 seconds of jogging while others alternate 2 minutes of sprint with 3
minutes of jogging. The warm up before the exercises and the cool down after
exercising are very important. It is also important to remember that you do not
have to be in the best of shapes to do HIIT.
To put it in a nut shell, HIIT
enables increased fat loss and metabolic boost in lesser time than your routine
method of exercising.
However, before you start
on your HIIT, do not forget to consult your doctor. If you receive approval,
then add HIIT to your exercise regime and engage in it at least once a week for