Raise your hand if you want to workout for 60-90 minutes a day, 5 days a week. Don’t all of you throw your hands up at once. Would you like to get off the treadmill? Try HIIT, high intensity interval training, workouts. These are designed to crank your heart rate up and last only about 20-30 minutes, sometimes more, depending on the program. They’re not meant to go for an hour.
Kinesiology experts and physical trainers are finding that short high intensity workouts are more effective than long and repetitive workouts. It goes far back into our ancestry. Far, far back. Even though technologically the human race has come very far, our bodies are not too different from when human life began. This is why some nutritionists believe our modern diet is what’s causing so much illness. Our bodies haven’t evolved to be able to understand processed foods. Hence you have diets such as paleo which are about returning to a pre-historic way of life when it comes to food. Research is starting to show the same things when it comes to exercise and our bodies.
The premise is that pre-historic humans did very little long distance running or ran short distances every day. Instead they ran at shorter high intensity bursts as needed for hunting or outrunning predators. Fast forward to the modern age of humanity and it has been drilled into us that it’s actually prolonged running or exercise that will get us in shape. This is a natural assumption because the more calories we burn the more weight we lose. Unfortunately, we’re finding that this assumption is flawed. Nutrition has more to do with our weight and health than exercise. Exercise has its place to keep the digestion and vascular system working well, along with other jobs. It’s more about what we put into our bodies that makes our bodies.
HIIT workouts focus on driving the heart rate over a short period of time, not on a daily basis, and it creates an after burn effect. These workouts are becoming more popular due to some awesome benefits:
- Shorter time periods makes it easier to fit into a busy schedule
- Burn more fat, something about this workout triggers the body to go for fat instead of free glucose for energy
- Builds the heart muscle due to the increase heart rate and intense activity
- No or little equipment needed which makes it great for frequent travelers, at most you may need a tension band
- Doesn’t reduce muscle mass
- Increases human growth hormone (HGH) by 450 times after a workout over a 24 hour period boosting your metabolism
- It’s challenging and requires focus because the movements can often be complex and strenuous
There are some great home workouts such as Turbo Fire and T25, among others. You want a program that changes up the routine on a daily basis. Typically a program will have “slower” days and won’t be HIIT every single day. This way your body doesn’t have time to adjust to the workout and you reduce your risk of injury.
Do you have a favorite HIIT workout program? Share your tips below. Don’t forget to share the New Black Chick with your friends.
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