Recent research indicates that high intensity interval training (HIIT) far outweighs the benefits of conventional aerobic endurance exercise. HIIT is simply short bursts of intense exercise followed by periods of rest. Just a few minutes of this type of exercise each week provides many of the health and fitness benefits you get from hours of conventional exercise. In addition, HIIT delivers what conventional aerobic endurance exercise does not: a significant boost in human growth hormone (HGH), the “fitness hormone”.
Ideally, you’ll want to do high intensity exercises two or three times a week for a total of four minutes of intense exertion with recovery periods in between. One approach that’s recommended is an exercise time of 30 seconds of maximum effort followed by recovery of 90 seconds for a total of eight repetitions. However, if you’re first starting out, you may want to do two or three repetitions and work your way up to eight.
A study published in the journal Cell Metabolism1 in 2012, showed that when healthy but inactive people exercise intensely, even if only briefly, it produces an immediate change in their DNA. The study suggests that when you exercise, your body almost immediately experiences activation of genes involved in fat metabolism.
Besides lowered body fat, other benefits associated with high intensity interval training include:
*Improved muscle tone
*Higher energy levels
*Improved athletic speed and performance
*Firmer skin (fewer wrinkles)
For overall optimal health, it’s best to pursue a well-rounded fitness program; one that balances HIIT with strength training, stretching, core strengthening, stress reduction, restorative sleep, and proper nutrition. When putting together your exercise routine, try to incorporate the following:
*Interval Peak Fitness (Anaerobic) Training: Interval training involves alternating short bursts of high-intensity exercise with gentle recovery periods.
*Strength Training: Rounding out your exercise program with a strength training routine will ensure that you’re really optimizing the health benefits of your fitness program.
*Core Exercises: Your body has 29 core muscles located mostly in your back, abdomen and pelvis. This group of muscles provides the foundation for movement throughout your body. Strengthening these muscles will not only help support your back; it will also improve your balance and stability, thus rendering your spine and body less prone to injury.
*Stretching: Benefits of stretching include reduced muscle tension, increased range of motion, increased circulation, and enhanced muscular coordination.
*Stand Up Every 15 Minutes. Scientific research reveals that prolonged sitting can have a highly detrimental impact on your health, even if you exercise regularly. In order to function properly, your body needs to interact with gravity throughout the day, so whenever you have a chance to move your body, do so!
What are you waiting for? Get moving and start enjoying the immediate effects of your new exercise program. Remember, a body in motion stays in motion.