Fitness fads come and go. I’ve tried just about everything out there when it comes to finding a fitness routine I will stick to and like doing. About 4 years ago, I came across a little company here in Guelph with three trainers who whipped me into shape pretty quickly. I was nearly sick the first time I worked out with them (and here I thought I was in fairly good shape… Not so much).
This was my introduction to High Intensity Interval Training (H.I.I.T.). Imagine getting the benefits of an hour-long workout in 30 minutes or less! Not possible right? Well it is. H.I.I.T is a workout where you alternate between low and moderate intensity intervals to high intensity intervals. This is, in essence, more effective than regular cardio (i.e. endless hours on a treadmill) because you increase your aerobic and anaerobic endurance. What does that mean? It means your body goes into Excess Postexercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC). So what does that mean? It means that, in the hours after your workout, while you’re watching TV or reading a book, your body will still be in fat-burning overdrive. Amazing! Multiple studies have also shown that adopting an H.I.I.T. workout into your daily routine can significantly improve your aerobic capacity in as little as two weeks.
Most H.I.I.T. workouts are also quick and convenient. No fancy equipment is required and they can be done just about anywhere – at home, in a park, hotel room, and yes, even the gym. My usual workout involves very little in terms of weights, bands or other accessories. Grab a skipping rope, do some high knees, jumping jacks or lunges – basically anything plyometric (think explosive movements) and you’re good to go. A good starter workout for a beginner is fairly simple. Run as fast as you can for 1 minute, then walk for 2 minutes. Repeat the 3 minute interval 5 times to start. 15 minutes and you’re done. Everyone has 15 minutes a day to workout. This is one of the main reasons I do H.I.I.T. It’s fast, it’s effective, and it works.
For me H.I.I.T. breaks the monotony of the your typical cardio workout. You can challenge and push yourself with a variety a different moves. It’s something I can do on my own, with my trainer, or in a group setting. If you’re looking to try something a little different and experience some great results in as little time as possible, I suggest doing a bit of research into H.I.I.T. for yourself. But don’t forget, proper eating habits are always part of any true healthy lifestyle plan.