Do you want to make your workout more interesting and burn more calories while doing it?? Aerobic interval training, also called high-intensity interval training (HIIT), can take your workout to the next level. Interval training is simply alternating short bursts (about 30 seconds) of intense activity with longer intervals (about 1 to 2 minutes) of less intense activity. Some benefits to interval training are:
Burning more calories:
- The more vigorously you exercise, the more calories you’ll burn, even if you increase intensity for just a few minutes at a time.
- A lot of people do not exercise because they don’t have the time. The Department of Health and Human Services recommends 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week, or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity. Interval training enables you to complete an effective workout in less time than a standard workout.
Improved aerobic capacity:
- As your cardiovascular fitness improves, you’ll be able to exercise longer and with more intensity. Improving your cardiovascular fitness can also help reduce the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
It can make your exercise routine more interesting:
- Many traditional workouts can lack variation which can cause boredom. Turning up your intensity in short intervals can add variety to your exercise routine so that you stay engaged and motivated!
It doesn’t require special equipment
- You can perform intervals walking, running, biking, or swimming. You can also go to the gym and work out on an elliptical trainer, treadmill, or exercise bike. Interval training can also include body-weight exercises that don’t require any equipment, such as jumping jacks, squats, and lunges.
HIIT is a smart alternative to traditional workouts, but it isn’t for everyone. If you have a chronic health condition or haven’t been exercising regularly, consult your doctor before trying any type of interval training. Start slowly and try doing just one or two higher intensity intervals during each workout at first. As your stamina improves, challenge yourself to vary the pace, and have fun!
Written by GUADS intern Sara with contributions from (https://www.mayoclinic.org/) and edited by GUADS staff member Kate