Why high-intensity interval training is the workout of the decade

By Ea Francisco | Lead photo by Pexels

It’s 2017, and the hype for HIIT is still going strong. For those who don’t know it, HIIT or high-intensity interval training is a cardiovascular exercise that alternates intense bursts of activity and less intense recovery. It’s a workout that requires all-out effort but burns more fat for less time. This workout is very flexible and can be modified to suit any person’s needs. It can be done any time, anywhere, and with any type of exercise.

There’s no fixed amount of time that HIIT should be done. It can last for as quick as 15 minutes and still have the same effect, which makes it ideal. People used to give the excuse that they’re too busy to work out, but HIIT might just be the answer to that dilemma.

HIIT isn’t just a workout trend. It delivers results. Studies say that a few minutes of HIIT greatly outperforms other less intense workouts. It increases oxygen intake for an extended period, a phenomenon called excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). This also has the added effect of increasing metabolism, so calories are burned even hours after the workout has ended. In an article, it was revealed that you can burn twice as much calories in HIIT than you can in a long run.

Photo by Scott Webb / Pexels

Also, it doesn’t require any actual equipment. It can be as simple as going for a run or jogging in place. The point is that you should give maximum effort and increase intensity for every set. Studies have shown that giving your hardest, even for a short period, is the key to HIIT’s success. The resting periods are just as important, too. Shifting from high-intensity activity to low-intensity recovery maximizes calorie burn and ensures that your hardest is given in each set.

For those who are unsure about getting into this workout, there are numerous websites that provide beginner HIIT workouts. However, a warning to those who have generally lived an inactive lifestyle, getting into such a high-intensity workout right away has its risks. Prior to starting HIIT, consult with a physician and establish a workout that suits your current state. HIIT has proven itself over the years to be an effective workout for every kind of person, so there’s no doubt that it would continue to be on people’s workout recommendation lists for the next few years.