Fitness plays an important life in our lives and despite of the amount of information available out there, there are still plenty of misconceptions on how to burn fat or lose weight more effectively. Unfortunately, most people nowadays still make the big mistake of joining the gym purely so they could run on a treadmill for miles and miles. But going by the calories the treadmill indicate you have burnt is not all there is to fitness. Fitness means much more than that so forget about long, exhausting sessions on the treadmill or the elliptical cross trainer and give HIIT a go.
With High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) the hint is in the name as this is a type of workout based on intense sets of various exercises followed by less intense recovery intervals, with no breaks in between. Usually, these workouts take up no more than 30 minutes of your time but work more muscle groups and are overall more efficient than the long hours you might have spent in the past on various machines at the gym.
Here are five reasons why you should quit regular, boring cardio workouts in favour of HIIT:
**1. More efficient**
HIIT workouts are much easier to fit into your busy schedule and they are so much more efficient. Think of it as a condensed version of a 2-hour gym session where you have trained on ALL the machines they had. This doesn’t mean you’re not working hard. It is not easy and you’ll find yourself breaking a sweat within the first minute but as research has shown, 15 minutes of HIIT will burn more fat and more calories than running for a whole hour on the treadmill.
**2. Lose Weight, Keep the Muscles**
If you’ve ever been on a diet, you know just how hard it is to maintain muscle mass. Just like dieting, regular cardio has been found to encourage muscle loss. However, with HIIT the weight you will have lost will come from burning fat stores and not muscle mass. In fact, your muscles will be there, nicely preserved and even more defined.
**3. No need for equipment or special location**
Basically, HIIT focuses on how you are working out, rather on where you are working out or what equipment are you using. As you are using your own bodyweight to train, you can do it at home in your own private space, out in the park, in a hotel room or anywhere you can find a couple of free square meters to use. There are no constraints and you can adjust it to your surroundings and even use chairs instead of medicinal balls. Tricky thing though as are no excuses not to do it either!
**4. Burn more fat**
I’ve already mentioned HIIT burns fat like nothing else. But the best bit is yet to come as you’ll be pleased to find that the kick your metabolism gets from these intense workouts help you burn fat even throughout the following 24 hours after your workout.
**5. Builds Core and Strength**
Not only will you burn fat and calories with HIIT workouts, but you will also build muscle as you will build on resistance. These intense training sessions focus on lunges, push-ups, crunches, jump ropes, jumping jacks, planks and such other types of exercises. And as they all require you to work with your own bodyweight, you will develop core and you’ll find yourself to be a much stronger person after only few weeks of training.