If you can't stand a long workout, have to squeeze exercise into a busy schedule, or want quick results, then high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is for you. There are plenty of reasons why it's been trending for several years—it doesn't require a lot of time, there's no need for costly equipment or trainers, and it can be done anywhere. A HIIT workout helps with weight loss, builds muscle, increases metabolism, burns calories for up to 2 hours after, and boosts feel-good endorphins.
The workout incorporates brief bursts of exercise at maximum intensity—exercising in the anaerobic zone where breathing is hard and fast, and the heart is pounding—followed by a period of recovery. The intervals must be challenging and can last from 30 seconds to three minutes, with a recovery ratio of 1:2.
For beginners, that means 30 seconds of intense running, skipping, jumping, stair climbing, rowing, biking, or lunging, followed by one minute of walking to recover. At first, intervals are kept to three or four per workout.
For low impact, it can be done on an elliptical trainer or while swimming lengths, and the same intervals can be applied to weight training. HIIT workouts should be done no more than three times a week with another two days of moderate cardio or weight training. Even seasoned exercisers will discover new challenges.
A typical workout lasts 20 to 45 minutes. A study in the International Journal of Obesity found that 20 minutes of HIIT, three times a week for 15 weeks, resulted in: "significant reductions in total body fat, subcutaneous leg and trunk fat, and insulin resistance for young women." Overall, it improves blood pressure, cardiovascular health, and lowers BMI, changing the overall body composition.
A snack like GoodTo Go bars is an excellent post-workout snack, eaten within 60 minutes of exercise. It replaces lost energy and the whole food protein from almond flour, nuts and chia seeds aids in muscle recovery. It's also great for anyone following a Keto diet, and recent research suggests there's a beneficial link between the Keto diet and HIIT exercise.
When it comes to a HIIT workout there's no time like the present to jump on the trend, and even fewer excuses not to.