If you are looking for a new workout that delivers results trade out the 45-minute treadmill routine for some high intensity training that takes half the time.
High-intensity interval training, or HIIT, can be defined as a 10- to 20-minute workout that alternates short, intense bursts of activity with moderate-exertion recovery periods. It is one of the best ways to stimulate your hormones for a fat burning benefit that lasts for hours after the workout is completed. High-intensity training also strengthens your heart and helps you to build and sculpt muscles, while improving your overall women’s fitness.
Here’s what you can expect when beginning any high-intensity interval training class. A HIIT workout consists of a warm-up period of exercise, followed by six to ten repetitions of high intensity exercise, separated by medium intensity exercise, and ending with a period of cool down exercise. The high intensity exercise should be done at near maximum intensity. The medium exercise should be about 50% intensity. The number of repetitions and length of each depends on the exercise. The goal is to perform at least six exercises, and the entire HIIT workout should last about fifteen minutes but not more than twenty.
Workouts aren’t meant to be comfortable. Research shows that brief and intense workouts trump slow and steady. An exercise that is actually producing results should challenge your body to be better, stronger, leaner, and longer. If you are wondering if your workout is intense enough, you need only to look to your body for clues. Good indicators are sweating, increased heart rate, and lactic acid production during exercise. Lactic acid produces that burning feeling in your muscles. You really do need to feel the burn. Moderate muscle soreness for up to a few days post-workout is also a good sign, but not the kind of pain that results from an overstressed muscle.
For overall muscle health, stretch your muscles to strengthen them and improve flexibility. This will help to minimize injuries. Many times when women start a new exercise program they become overzealous and exercise so intensely that they end up hurting themselves. Injuries can then disrupt your otherwise healthy women’s fitness program, not to mention causing intense pain.
Now is the time to take your workout to the next level. Whether you choose to increase weights, prolong the amount of time you workout, or go for the gold and actually get it done this year, consider high intensity interval training as a way to take your body from great to fabulous. You just might lose some weight and will certainly boost your confidence.