Has your exercise routine lost its luster? Adding something new may help you keep momentum. Consider adding high intensity interval training (HIIT) to your routine one or two times a week.
HIIT is an exercise technique that combines speed with recovery. Before you start a HIIT workout, you want to warm up your body. During your warm up you’ll want to feel yourself starting to perspire, but don’t want to work so hard that you start to feel fatigued. Five minutes of walking, running, or other exercises that get your body moving will do. During your five minute warm up you will also want to incorporate a bit of stretching. You can read more about stretching by clicking here and here.
Once you are warmed up, it is time to HIIT it! Each movement will be performed at an exertion level of 7 or higher. Exertion levels can be measured on a scale of 1-10 where 1 is little or no exertion, and 10 is your maximum amount of exertion. Another way to think of it is to use the talk test. The talk test says if you can sing while you are exercising, you could probably work a little harder. If you can talk while you’re exercising, you are likely performing at a moderate level of exertion. If you can’t talk at all, you are working too hard. For HIIT exercises, somewhere between a moderate and maximum exertion is where you want to be.
You can easily design your own HIIT workout. Some basic movements that work well are things like squats, lunges, jumping jacks, push ups, and burpees. Pick 10-15 movements. Perform each movement for 30-60 seconds, followed by 1 – 2 minutes of rest or recovery. The higher the intensity of the movement, the longer you want your recovery period to be. Continue working through the movements for 20-30 minutes. Once you are finished, let your body cool down and perform some static stretches.
If you are unfamiliar with certain movements, that’s okay! Choose movements you do know, or try an online search for a video demonstrating how to correctly perform the move. Click here for a few routines to get you started.For more information on HIIT training, click here.
Certified Nutrition Education Assistant