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Live fit and healthy with High Intensity Interval Training

Group of fit people exercising with an instructor in a studioHigh Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is now one of the most popular forms of exercise among trainers and professional athletes due to its practical application, superior cardiovascular adaptations, increased recovery periods, and reduced wear and tear on the body.

HIIT is performed by carrying out numerous bouts of high intensity activity (generally between 5 seconds to 8 minutes), followed by short recovery periods. This is in direct contrast to the well-known endurance (slow and steady) cardiovascular exercise that many exercisers are accustom to, such as walking or jogging for prolonged periods of time (often 30 minutes or more).

Research reveals the higher intensity portion of HIIT – i.e. short bursts of
high intensity effort – actually improves many of the common exercise parameters such as fat oxidisation, energy usage, and maximum oxygen consumption, and may also improve many markers associated with cardiovascular disease, obesity and Type II diabetes.

A recent article by French exercise scientist Veronique Billat suggested that to improve cardiovascular fitness, the duration and volume of exercise need not be increased, and as little as 30 seconds of high intensity variations can increase physical performance. These findings suggest that we may no longer require long steady-state activity to reap the rewards.

HIIT-exerciseInterestingly, HIIT can also cause an increase in post-exercise energy expenditure and metabolism, known as EPOC. Following a HIIT session, oxygen consumption remains elevated, which allows for higher and longer post exercise calorie expenditure.

Recently, a study presented by Florida State University researchers at the Annual Meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) reported that subjects who performed HIIT cardio burned almost 10% more calories during the 24 hours following exercise than a steady-state group. This was despite the fact that the total calories burned during each workout were the same. HIIT is becoming a well-known strategy to burn fat fast and increase overall health.


– this article was kindly supplied by The Healthy Mummy –
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