High intensity interval training... my favourite cardio workout

11 September 2019

When it comes to exercise lovelies, the absolute key is balance. This means getting in your aerobics, your strength training, and flexibility exercise. For me, high intensity interval training (HIIT) is the perfect way to get my aerobic/cardio workout in.

High intensity interval training... what does it mean?

We should all be aiming to do roughly half an hour of exercise five days a week. But that doesn’t mean you have to do it all in one go. The beauty of a HIIT workout is that you can do one in about 10 minutes, so they’re really easy to fit into your day.

Because they’re high intensity, it’s not like a traditional aerobics workout believe me, you’d be too exhausted doing this kind of exercise for an hour. The purpose of this workout is to get your heart rate up, become out of breath and be hot and sweaty. You do short bursts of exercise interspersed with rest periods to take your heart rate back down again.

What are the benefits of HIIT?

This way of exercising is good for your heart, as it’s been showing to improve cardiovascular health. And while I would never advocate exercise purely for weight loss, this has been shown to help you burn the calories and continue burning them for a while afterwards. Not bad for a 10-minute workout!

It can also help you to improve your insulin resistance and lower your blood sugar levels, as well as boosting your oxygen consumption (how well your muscles use the oxygen in your body).

Getting started

If you haven’t exercised or done any cardio in a while then I wouldn’t recommend you just suddenly launch yourself into a HIIT programme, as the name suggests they are high intensity! If it’s something you’re interested in but aren’t sure if your fitness levels are enough, then I’d always recommend speaking to your doctor before you try any new types of exercise.

HIIT exercises can really be anything that gets your heart pounding and your blood pumping. It’s great as there are so many things you can do that you never get bored!

Skipping is a great one. I mean with a rope, not skipping down the street, although this would also work! If you think skipping is just for kids then think again, because it’s harder than it looks and better for you than you think!

Speed cycling is also great. This is easier to do using an exercise bike, as you can more easily go in short, fast bursts, then rest and let your heart rate slow. Save your real bike for a lovely bike ride!

Star jumps. Again you might have done these in the playground, but children know what they’re doing! You’re aiming to go fast though, remember.

Press ups. Go on your hands and knees if you’re a beginner, and get yourself into a good rhythm, building up to hands and feet as you get stronger.

The aim is to do each exercise for about half a minute then rest for half a minute, before moving on to the next exercise. If you go for four different exercises three times each then boom, you’ve got yourself a workout. Or you can start with three exercises repeated three times, and build up to five different exercises. Mix and match, whatever you feel like doing, however much it all helps.

I started this blog talking about balance, so that’s where I’ll finish up, too. It can be tempting to just do HIIT every day, because it’s quick. But that isn’t really enough balance. I love to run, walk, do weight lifting, enjoy some yoga... it’s about getting the right variety, improving your fitness and flexibility as a whole.

Let me know how you get on with your HIIT workout @camilleknowles.

 

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Lots of love and positive vibes, Camille xx

References:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-intensity_interval_training

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/benefits-of-hiit#section10

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