If you're looking to improve your cardiovascular fitness and challenge yourself, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) may be just what you need. HIIT cardio is a type of exercise that involves short bursts of intense activity followed by periods of rest or low-intensity activity. Here's everything you need to know about HIIT cardio and how it can benefit your health and fitness.
What is HIIT cardio?
HIIT cardio is a form of cardiovascular exercise that involves alternating between high-intensity and low-intensity or rest periods. During the high-intensity intervals, you perform an exercise at maximum effort for a short period of time, usually between 20-60 seconds. The low-intensity or rest periods are used to recover before the next high-intensity interval begins. The goal of HIIT is to push your body to its limits and maximize the amount of calories burned during the workout.
Why is HIIT cardio effective?
HIIT cardio is an effective form of exercise because it allows you to burn a significant amount of calories in a short amount of time. The high-intensity intervals stimulate your body to burn calories both during and after the workout, which is known as the afterburn effect or excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). This means that your body continues to burn calories even after the workout has ended.
Additionally, HIIT cardio can improve your cardiovascular fitness by increasing your heart rate and lung capacity. It can also help you build lean muscle mass and boost your metabolism, which can lead to increased calorie burn even when you're at rest. By incorporating HIIT into your fitness routine, you can challenge yourself and reach your fitness goals in a fun and efficient way.
How do you perform HIIT cardio?
HIIT cardio can be performed using a variety of exercises, including running, cycling, jumping jacks, or burpees. The key is to choose an exercise that you can perform at maximum effort for the high-intensity intervals. To perform a HIIT workout, follow these steps:
Warm up for 5-10 minutes with low-intensity exercise.
Choose your exercise and perform it at maximum effort for 20-60 seconds.
Rest or perform low-intensity exercise for 1-2 minutes.
Repeat the high-intensity and low-intensity intervals for 15-30 minutes.
Cool down with low-intensity exercise for 5-10 minutes.
It's important to note that HIIT cardio is a high-intensity form of exercise and may not be suitable for everyone. If you have any health concerns or are new to exercise, it's best to consult with your healthcare provider before starting a HIIT workout.