Why You Should Try High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)


We all know how hard it can be to fit exercise into our daily routines. It’s incredibly frustrating when we manage to carve out the time to get on the treadmill, force ourselves to stay on for an hour, and then not even see the results we had hoped to see.

Not to sound too much like an infomercial, but there’s gotta be a better way! And there is high-intensity interval training (HIIT).

What Is High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)?

During a HIIT workout, you will perform short bursts of intense exercise followed by short recovery periods. For example, you might do squat jumps as quickly as possible for 30 seconds, then stand or walk for 60 seconds, putting that on repeat. You can do a HIIT workout with one type of cardio, such as running, or change it up and perform different bodyweight (or weighted) exercises as well. The goal is to bring your heart rate up to 90% of your max and then back down to 60–70%—forcing your body to constantly adapt and rely on stored energy sources rather than oxygen.

HIIT workouts have become increasingly popular, and for a good reason—they have a ton of benefits.

You Burn More Calories and Fat

HIIT has been shown to help you burn more calories than aerobic workouts, up to 30% more. It also helps you burn fat more efficiently—even visceral fat, which surrounds your internal organs and promotes disease. But the best part? You continue burning fat up to 24 hours after you’ve done the workout, even if you’re just on the couch binging your new favorite Netflix show.

It Saves Time

Say goodbye to hour-long gym sessions after a hard day of work. Because HIIT workouts are so efficient at burning fat and calories, they don’t need to be as long. Typical HIIT sessions can last between 10 and 30 minutes.

You Can Do It Anywhere

You can do HIIT without any equipment (think running, squats, burpees, push-ups, lunges, etc.), so it’s easy to squeeze in a workout no matter where you are.

It Boosts Your Metabolism

HIIT workouts use up more oxygen, which causes your metabolism to crank it up a notch. It can also help shift your body’s metabolism to using fat for energy instead of carbs. A higher metabolism can help with weight loss and rid your body of toxins.

It Improves Cardiovascular Health

HIIT makes your heart work harder, which helps it become stronger and healthier. It can also help reduce your heart rate and blood pressure, especially in those who are overweight or obese.

Tailor It to You

People of all fitness levels can take advantage of HIIT. If you’re not quite ready for the most challenging workouts, you can adjust the types of exercises and length of recovery periods. You can also choose which kinds of exercises to do, so if you absolutely hate running or burpees, simply avoid those workouts—there are plenty of others to choose from.

HIIT can be a great solution to the struggle of fitting in a workout and losing weight effectively. Before diving into HIIT, make sure to consult with your doctor if you have any health conditions or injuries. If you’re ready to get started, there are several apps and virtual classes you can explore.