I’m too busy. I don’t have time. I’ve got too much going on right now. These are all typical excuses that you hear from people when it comes to reasons as to why they don’t exercise. It’s true that nowadays people are busier than ever, cramming so much into their day that they can’t find the time to go out for a run, a cycle or head to the gym.
Being busy isn’t an excuse for not being active though. We’ve got to look after ourselves and it’s important to get some exercise in order to do so. Saying that you’re too busy no longer washes as an excuse, thanks to fitness experts who continue to adapt training programmes and regimes to suit a range of different lifestyles. With people’s lives becoming busier and with less time than ever to spare, short training sessions performed at a high intensity are the latest fitness craze. You could be in and out of that gym within 30 minutes – time that even the busiest person could spare.
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is where you train for shorter periods by doing intense anaerobic exercise followed by less intense recovery periods. These sessions may be short but they have multiple health benefits as well as being easier to incorporate into your daily routine. There are different variations of HIIT workouts but the most common are classes such as Metafit and GRIT.
HIIT sessions typically last under or around 30 minutes, although there’s no definitive timeframe that must be adhered to. You can continue longer if you want to, but if done properly your body should be worked to exhaustion within half an hour. The sessions are constant and you still work during rest periods, albeit at a lower intensity.
There are many benefits to HIIT for those training for another sport or for those who’re just looking to keep fit. The sessions will help to improve your endurance which is great for those who play sports like football or rugby, or anyone training for a long-distance running, cycling or swimming event. A variation of HIIT was used by Peter Coe in the 1970s, whilst training his son and double Olympic gold medallist, Sebastien. Seb would run repeated 200m runs at a fast pace with 30 seconds of rest in between to improve his endurance. It appears to have worked, as Coe proved how good his endurance was by winning golds in the 1500m at the 1980 and 1984 Olympic Games in Moscow and Los Angeles respectively.
HIIT is great for those with limited time, so it’s no real surprise that the sessions burn calories and fat quicker than most other training programmes. Studies have shown that just 15 minutes of high intensity training burns more calories than you would by jogging on a treadmill for an hour. HIIT was used by Peter Coe in the 1970s, whilst training his son and double Olympic gold medallist, Sebastien. And the fat-burning benefits don’t stop there. Not only do you burn more calories during an HIIT workout, but the intensity makes your body’s repair cycle kick into action. That means you burn even more in the 24 hours after your session than normal!
Another massive benefit of HIIT is that you don’t need any equipment. That means you can do a session anywhere! In your garden, down the inch or in the gym – all you need is a little bit of open space. The sessions use your own body weight so you can include anything that gets the heart rate going, from jumping jacks and burpees to high knees and lunges, you can literally include anything in your workout. You can choose your own HIIT workouts, so you can cycle, run, jump, and literally do anything that gets the heart going. As long as it’s done at a high intensity, you’ll reap the rewards.
From a health point of view, one of the major positives from HIIT is that it helps to keep your heart healthy. Keeping your ticker in good shape is important and the high intensity sessions are a great way of doing just that. In normal training, it can be hard for people to push themselves to the anaerobic level but with HIIT, it’s easier to manage this as your rest period comes right after you reach the anaerobic point. This helps to increase blood flow around the body and also helps to maintain a healthy heart!
These are just some of the benefits from High Intensity Interval Training but there are many more. It’s a fantastic way for the busiest of people to fit in exercise to their daily routines, and you don’t necessarily need to head to the gym to do it. Don’t neglect your own health because you’re too busy – take 30 minutes and try an HIIT workout, it won’t take long for you to feel and see the benefits.
Although you don’t need to go to the gym to do an HIIT workout, Live Active Leisure runs classes at their venues throughout Perth and Kinross including High Intensity Interval Training. For more information, visit the Live Active Leisure website.
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