First, for those who may still be unaware, HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. HIIT can be done for resistance training or for cardiovascular training (cardio). It is the practice of doing low/moderate intensity intervals with high intensity intervals. (Ex, 30 seconds brisk walk, followed immediately by 30 seconds incline running) The major benefits of HIIT is that it is far less time consuming compared to traditional training methods (main excuse for most people is that they don’t “have time” to train) AND it is much more efficient in burning fat. (Takes less time and burns more fat, that’s what I call a two-fer!)
How does it exactly burn more fat? The science behind it (and trust me there has been a lot of studies done on this, ACSM 2014, Wisløff, Ellingsen & Kemi 2009 to name a few ) is that it increases your mitochondria’s capacity. Now, what is mitochondria? It is the cell in the body that is responsible for producing energy and where you burn fat. (fat being one of the variables that is used to turn into energy) By increasing mitochondria in your body you are making your body more efficient in burning fat for energy!
How to do HIIT cardio? As eluded to earlier, HIIT cardio is just doing low/moderate intensity interval with a high intensity interval. You can do this on any cardio equipment (exercise bike, treadmill, stair climber etc) or even with just your body weight. (Running, skipping rope, etc) For new beginners to cardio/HIIT cardio it is recommended to do 1:4 ratio. (15 seconds high intensity, 60 seconds moderate). For intermediates: 1:2, for advanced 1:1, and for experts 2:1.
And another benefit to add… It Is Enjoyable! You will find that having to switch intensities during cardio is much more enjoyable then just doing the steady pace for the 30-45 mins. And as we all know, the best way to make something a life long habit is to enjoy doing it!
Well that’s it, all the reasons why YOU should be doing HIIT Cardio.