Posted: Mar 24, 2013 9:00 PM
 
Interval training maximizes fitness results in less time. Short bursts of high intensity training help burn calories and increase endurance and make workouts more rewarding.

Fitness, health and weight loss compete for top priority when women think about how to fit exercise into their daily lives. While adding extra minutes to workout routines is one way to increase fitness and see results more quickly, many women are already struggling to manage their scheduled workouts.

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is one way to maximize fitness results while working out the same amount of time — or less.

What is HIIT?

HIIT workouts are designed to push your body to maximum effort for a short period of time and then recover for a short time before pushing yourself again. One basic example is to sprint for a minute, walk for 2 minutes and repeat the 3 minute workout five times for a total of fifteen minutes. As you become more fit, work to flip-flop the heart rates so you are sprinting for a minute and recovering for 30 seconds.

Why should you consider HIIT?

Oxygen efficiency and increased metabolic burn will make you able to work out both longer and harder on other days and lose weight more quickly.

You may love the way a long, steady run clears your head or the way your muscles feel elongated after a Pilates class, but there's still a place for HIIT workouts in your schedule.

The Journal of Physiology showed HIIT training — called "short term sprint interval training" for the purposes of the study — is a time-effective way to increase physical endurance. Oxygen efficiency and increased metabolic burn will make you able to work out both longer and harder on other days and lose weight more quickly.

Other benefits of HIIT

High intensity interval training focuses on endurance and cardiovascular fitness, so the workouts fit perfectly into your schedule — and your location. While a workout class or a personal trainer may add equipment like steps, jump ropes or medicine balls to your intervals, HIIT workouts can be done without any equipment at all.

Running in place, high knees, mountain climbers and jumping lunges all get your heart rate up quickly and only require a small amount of space. The recovery exercise can be as simple as walking in place or doing slow jumping jacks.

Incorporating HIIT workouts into your schedule will help you feel stronger, healthier — and maybe even thinner — without adding time to your exercise routine.

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