HIIT training, short for High-intensity interval training, is one of the best types of workouts to help you lose weight, improve cardiovascular strength and endurance. HIIT training makes workouts as effective as possible, while also giving you a challenge.
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HIIT training is a popular training technique and approach as it is suitable for people of all ages, and can be done anywhere. With that being said, let’s break down what HIIT training is, and the best workouts for people of all ages.
What is HIIT?
High-intensity interval training is when you train at maximum intensity for short bursts before slowing down into a more sustainable intensity and repeating this cycle. During high intensity, the body is pushed to its limit, making the exercise extremely efficient and effective.
During the low intense period, the body is given time to recuperate its energy to repeat this cycle. HIIT will cause a metabolic disturbance and cause the body to burn calories at a higher rate long after the workout has finished.
The benefits of High-intensity interval training include:
- Increase metabolism to burn fat more effectively and lose weight quicker
- Improved cardiac function
- Improved endurance and stamina levels
- Builds up strength in muscle and joints to make you more agile
- Efficient use of time as you burn more calories in shorter periods
Best HIIT Exercises to Try
- Jogging – Probably the easiest and convenient exercise you can incorporate HIIT with, jogging is perfect for people of all ages. Whether it’s done outdoors or on the treadmill, jogging is the perfect exercise for you to test your limits and to see how intense you can go. Jogging can lead to running, sprinting or even walking. It’s also the perfect way for you to build up stamina.
- Cycling – Cycling is great for HIIT as it can be done at a maximum intensity as well as transitioning into low-intensity seamlessly. As the motion is very static, there is also very little room for injury. Exercise bikes are good as you can adjust the resistance, making it suitable for people of all strength levels.
- Stair climbers – Stair climbers, are great for HIIT as they are sure to make you break a sweat very quickly. They can be conveniently done at home if you have stairs, in public facilities that have long staircases or even in gyms or fitness centres with stair climbers.
- Swimming – With the heat in the UAE beaming all year round, swimming is one of the best sports to help you cool down as well as giving you an intense workout. Swimming is a great way to engage your whole body and give you an intense cardio workout.
- Bodyweight exercises – HIIT training is commonly associated with bodyweight exercises. Bodyweight exercises including, jump squats, planks, star jumps, lunges, push-ups and more, can be incorporated into high-intensity intervals, helping you burn fat and build muscle and strength at the same time.
- Dumbbell circuits – Dumbbell circuits are another great way to build muscle and burn fat at the same time. Dumbbell circuits mean incorporating numerous dumbbell exercise and turning it into a cycle. This includes dumbbell curls, should presses, bench presses, sumo squats and other dumbbell exercises you can perform in intervals. Dumbbells can range from super light to super heavy and can even be replaced with household items such as a towel or water bottle, making it a friendly exercise for people of all ages and health backgrounds.
Keep in Mind
- Start slow – Especially if you are recovering from an injury, training for the first time in a long time or have a health condition that affects your physical activity, always start slowly and work yourself into all of your exercises. Stretch and warm-up and get nice and loose before intense exercise. This is important in helping you prevent injury as HIIT training can sometimes shock the body; the last thing you’d want is an injury.
- Not every exercise has to be HIIT – HIIT training is a fantastic way to burn fat, build up stamina as well as improve your overall health. That doesn’t mean relying on it too much. Only sticking to HIIT, you risk overexertion and can end up becoming counteractive for your health. HIIT to should be done two to three times a week, with steady-state cardio in between all the other days.
- Assess your health – Is your health getting in the way of your exercise regime? Certain health conditions may stop you or limit you from training with certain approaches, and HIIT is no different. It can be very demanding on your heart, lungs and overall body. If you have a health condition that doesn’t permit you to train at high intensities or are not sure how to start HIIT, speak with your doctor or health advisor on what you can do or how to get started.
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