For many of us, the thought of a high-intensity interval workout (HIIT) is enough to make our palms sweat. But don’t be intimidated: HIIT workouts are one of the best ways to change up your routine and add some spice without shelving it entirely.
It’s also worth noting that HIIT is intense. You need to be prepared for the challenge. If you’ve never tried a HIIT workout before, this article will give you five tips to get started.
What Is HIIT and What Are the Benefits?
HIIT is a type of workout that alternates between periods of high-intensity activity and low-intensity or active recovery. The ratio of work to rest can vary, but a common approach is 30 seconds of all-out effort followed by four minutes of active recovery (such as walking or light jogging).
One of the biggest benefits of HIIT is that it’s incredibly efficient. You can get a great workout in a short amount of time.
Another benefit of HIIT is that it’s an effective way to burn fat. Studies have shown that HIIT can help you burn more fat in less time than traditional cardio workouts like running or cycling.
HIIT is also a great way to break out of a workout rut. If you’re bored with your current routine, HIIT can add some much-needed variety.
Can I Do HIIT Workouts At Home?
Yes! HIIT workouts can be done anywhere, anytime. All you need is a timer and a little space. You can do many beginner HIIT workouts with minimal equipment.
If you’re new to HIIT, it’s important to start slowly and gradually increase the intensity of your workouts. As you become more comfortable with HIIT, you can add more challenging moves and longer intervals.
5 Tips for Your First HIIT Workout
Now that you know what HIIT is and some of the benefits, it’s time to get started.
Get the Right Gear
The first step to nailing a HIIT workout is to make sure you have the right gear. This means comfortable clothing that won’t restrict your movement and supportive shoes.
You’ll also need a water bottle and a towel. HIIT workouts are intense, so you’ll want to be sure to stay hydrated. And trust us, you’re going to sweat!
Before you start your HIIT workout, it’s important to warm up. This will help prevent injury and get your body ready for the high-intensity intervals.
A simple warm-up might include a light jog or some dynamic stretches. Once you’re feeling loose, it’s time to move on to the main event. In addition to getting your body loosened up, stretching offers several benefits.
According to Dea at LaDea Women’s Health stretching can improve lung capaci1ty and heart rate, it also helps improve blood circulation.
Select Exercises that Match Your Needs and Goals
When you’re putting together your HIIT workout, be sure to select exercises that match your needs and goals.
For example, if your goal is to improve cardiovascular health, you might choose exercises like running or biking. If you’re looking to build muscle, you might focus on moves like squats or lunges.
And if you’re just looking for a challenging workout, there’s no need to limit yourself to one type of exercise. HIIT workouts can be a great way to try new things and mix up your routine.
When you’re first starting out, choose exercises that you’re comfortable with and that won’t put your body at risk for injury.
As you become more comfortable with HIIT, you can start to add more challenging exercises to your routine.
Set a Timer and Go!
Once you’ve selected your exercises, it’s time to set a timer and get started. Remember, the key to HIIT is alternating between periods of high-intensity activity and low-intensity or active recovery.
A common approach is to do 60 seconds of all-out effort followed by 60 seconds of active recovery. According to Science Daily, this interval ratio is more effective than the traditional 30 second active, 120 second rest. Feel free to adjust the ratio to match your fitness level and goals.
If you’re new to HIIT, start with shorter intervals and work your way up to longer ones. You might also want to increase the amount of time you spend in the active recovery phase as you become more comfortable with the workout.
Listen to Your Body
HIIT workouts are intense, so it’s important to listen to your body and take breaks when you need them.
If you feel like you’re about to collapse or throw up, it’s time to take a break. Pushing yourself too hard can lead to injuries or burnout.
Instead of going all-out for the entire workout, focus on quality over quantity. It’s better to do a few intervals at a lower intensity than it is to try to push yourself too hard and end up quitting early.
HIIT workouts are a great way to take your fitness to the next level. By following these tips, you can make sure your HIIT workout is safe, effective, and enjoyable.