I’m a BIG fan of high intensity interval training, or HIIT as it’s often referred to. HIIT is all about exercising efficiently – getting the maximum benefit in the minimum amount of time.
For me this is vital. Being a single, working mother with 2 young children, I simply don’t have the time to be spending hours working out.
As well as being hugely convenient, there is growing evidence to suggest that HIIT has many other benefits.
In one of my go-to books “The 4 Pillar Plan”, Dr Rangan Chatterjee endorses HIIT training as his preferred mode of exercise and says that:
“One recent study found that an eleven minute HIIT workout gives as much benefit as one hour of continuous exercise”.
Chatterjee also talks about how HIIT can help to slow down the ageing process (yes please!), improve insulin sensitivity, and help to shift dangerous visceral fat – the type that can increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
So for those of you who haven’t yet tried it, what exactly is HIIT?
Well, it’s all about working flat out, at your maximum capacity, for very short bursts of time – typically between 30 and 60 seconds – and then resting for a similar time period.
It’s important to note that the ‘high intensity’ side of it, is a very individual thing and will vary from person to person.
For example, one person’s maximum capacity could be a full on sprint, whereas another’s may be a very fast walk.
There are various ways of doing HIIT. You can take any bodyweight exercise, such as a squat, lunge, jump or press up and work as intensely as you can with that exercise for 30 seconds, then take a break for 30 seconds and continue like that.
Or, you could combine walking and running – the walk being your ‘rest’ period.
One of my personal favourites is the 15 second sprint (I like doing it barefoot, in spring/summer!), where you sprint flat out for around 15 seconds and then rest and repeat up to 5 times.
This way of exercising is so good for increasing your strength and cardio vascular fitness.
It’s also a lot of fun as no matter how hard the exercise is, you know it’s only for a very short time, which makes it manageable.
So why not give it a try?