Harmonize Fitness
Harmonize Fitness

Cardio exercise – HIIT


If you´ve tried to lose weight before and you´ve made a research to find out what was the best and fastest way you may have ended up confused and overwhelmed with all the information. I´m sure you have heard about HIIT as a great tool to lose weight fast.

HIIT (high intensity interval training) this means that we do an exercise for example sprints for 10 to 30 seconds as hard as we can and we rest for 30 to 60 seconds and we repeat it for several times.

Studies show that HIIT burns more fat than steady state cardio and there are studies that show that HIIT can also increase lean muscle mass so if we consider this studies HIIT is the best option for fat loss and to stay lean.

So how does HIIT help you burn more calories than traditional steady state cardio? The answer is EPOC. Actually if we compare the calories burn on each type of exercise (HIIT and steady state) we´ll see that we burn more calories with steady than with HIIT, but the benefits of HIIT come after we are done with our workout. Once we´ve finished our HIIT session our body´s metabolism stays high burning more calories for some period of time, this is called excess-post- oxygen consumption. It´s the amount of oxygen your body needs to get back to normal.

HIIT can also increase muscle mass but it can interfere with your recovery, if you´re doing resistance exercise and you´re giving your all then doing too many sessions of HIIT will make it harder and longer to recover from those resistance work outs.

Since most of us want to lose as much weight as fast as possible and without spending too much time exercising a lot of programs are using interval training to give you this results. I do consider it as an option and a great tool to keep the workouts challenging every other day, but I don´t recommend doing it every day.

HIIT  is considered for many people in the industry as the best tool to get leaner and healthier in a faster way, but lets consider something, even when HIIT can help you gain some muscle and can burn a lot of calories in a short period of time and that fat burn can continue for some hours after you´re done this does not mean that it´s the best tool for you.

If you´re starting your weight loss journey and you feel tired, if your body hurts then this type of cardio is not the right option for you, yet! You need to start with something you can do, your goal right now is to increase physical activity so walking is a great way to start, once you´ve lost some weight and you feel more comfortable exercising you can then try some high intensity intervals always knowing your limits and avoiding all injuries and health issues.

We can´t deny the fact that when you start eating healthy, avoid all unhealthy foods, eating less and start doing exercise or find ways to increase physical activity you´ll lose weight and when you lose weight your health improves so there´s no reason to do crazy types of exercises that are not the best option for you increasing your risk of injuries just to get results faster.

As with all exercises I´m not against it and I do recommend you give it a try when you are able to do it. You need to talk to your doctor or health care practitioner first and listen to what she/he recommends, if you´re not ready for it, yet just wait a little more.

After losing some weight you may be able to try this type of exercise to see if you like it, for this you need to start slow, you can start with sprints, 20 to 30 seconds sprint as fast as you can and rest for 45 to 60 seconds. Repeat 6 to 8 rounds. Do this one or two times a week and see how you feel. Remember that before doing any type of exercise and especially before starting HIIT you need to talk to your doctor or health care practitioner about it.

Let us know by leaving a comment down below and on Twitter if you´ve tried this type of cardio before and what were your results or if you´re interested on giving it a try.

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