Benefits of HIIT Cardio

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We all don’t enjoy doing cardio, but we know that it is important for us to keep our heart healthy and it helps torch calories so we do it. There are many questions regarding what type of cardio is “the best” to do, and honestly I recommend completing a mixture of both steady rate cardio and HIIT cardio in your weekly workouts. 

What is HIIT cardio? HIIT is a form of training that involves changing your pace at different points throughout a workout. It keeps your body from adapting and getting too comfortable with any one exercise while, simultaneously, helping you burn calories post-workout. The Evolve Fitness classes do exactly that!

HIIT starts out with a short warm-up session followed by a short, high-intensity burst of energy followed by easy-to-moderate effort for the same amount of time. The high-intensity intervals call you to push yourself as hard as possible. The following low-intensity periods allow you time to recover. The pattern repeats until you finish with a cool-down period similar to your warm-up.

This cycling of intensity gobbles up way more calories, both during the actual time you're exercising and for 24 hours afterward. That's important because the "afterburn"—called excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, or EPOC—is just as valuable in the overall equation of weight loss as the actual number of calories you burn during a given activity. Increasingly, studies have shown this type of workout trumps steady-state cardio in which you maintain a constant heart rate throughout the activity.

But you can't just jump right into this workout protocol, even if you're already doing some cardio. Since HIIT is so intense, you risk injury if you're not careful. You may also experience burnout or overtraining.

If you are looking to include HIIT cardio training, be mindful of the amount of HIIT cardio you are completing each week, mixed up with some steady rate cardio and traditional weight training. A good mixture of the three, plus a clean diet will lead you to success! 

What type of training do you enjoy most? Share with me in the comments below.