The Fit File: H.I.I.T. up your cardio routine

You might be thinking I spelled a word wrong in the title. Though I could’ve because I’m a terrible speller (shout out to my editors), this time I did not! I did it, mom! H.I.I.T. actually stands for High Intensity Interval Training.

H.I.I.T. is defined as a system of organizing cardiorespiratory training which calls for repeated bouts of short duration, high-intensity exercise intervals intermingled with periods of lower intensity intervals of active recovery (Mccall). This type of cardio is no joke and will have you panting like a dog within the first 10 minutes. It may be taxing, but it will allow you to cut your workout time in half AND burn 200% more fat. Now do I have your attention? *creepy side looking emoji*

In our fast-paced lives, most people don’t have enough time to study, work and get to the chapel, let alone get in quality workouts. That is why I am here to help you amp up the intensity of your workouts to get it done faster with more efficiency. The reason why you burn more calories with H.I.I.T. rather than steady state cardio is because of the principle of E.P.O.C. or Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption. Essentially, once you stop your steady state cardio the calorie burning is substantially slowed down. After H.I.I.T. cardio however, you will continue burning ample amounts of calories for 16-24 hours after your workout is completed. Yes, that means you’ll be burning fat even when you sleep! Make those Zzz’s into $$$, that’s the stuff.

Stress placed on the body causes it to work harder, resulting in a revved up metabolism. Many athletes also capitalize on H.I.I.T. training to increase their VO2 max which is the maximum amount of oxygen an athlete can take in at one time. This type of training will cause the body to work at max capacity then stop or slow down, forcing the body to recover quickly. This helps all athletes so that in the heat of competition they are able to recover quickly for the next play. A typical interval workout is 20 to 30 minutes with a warm up and cool down. Many different intervals can be established but the one most often used is 30 seconds of sprinting followed by 2 minutes rest. As your body adapts to the training you can then decrease the amount of time taken to rest from 2 minutes to 1 minute 30 seconds, 1 minute, and so on.

Some of the huge benefits about H.I.I.T. training are:

#1 It’s free! Holla at us broke college students.

#2 You can do this training really anywhere. Ideally it is best utilized on a track or field, but you can get just as great of a workout on a stationary bike, treadmill, elliptical, jump rope, or the stairs.

#3 You can also use any body weight movements as long as they’re all-out. Some examples of these exercises are burpees (we love burpees), high knees, mountain climbers, jump squats, etc.

Feel free to spread your creative wings with these workouts, Duhawks, because the more you change it up, the more you will keep your body guessing, allowing it to adapt to become leaner and stronger. Add this type of training into your routine around 2-3 times a week and let me know if there’s a difference.

Work smarter, not longer. When in doubt, sprint it out.

Talk to you soon, your helper in health,

The Fanny Pack Girl

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