Its a HIIT! A recent study shows that interval training may be especially beneficial for women.
Blah workouts are a fixture of many a fitness routine. For example, I trudged to the gym at 6 am yesterday, feeling that I deserved applause for such a feat. After 10 minutes of jogging on the treadmill, however, my stamina lagged—and my thoughts strayed to the oatmeal breakfast waiting at home (spoiler: it was delicious!). The next 20 minutes of yawns and sluggish walking were hardly a wakeup, let alone a workout.
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) may be the perfect spice for such a bland gym session. A recent study confirmed that shorter, more intense workouts broken up by recovery breaks could be the best bet for heart health and weight management. Most research on the topic has focused on men, but women may achieve even more with HIIT.
Study participants were moderately fit 19 to 30 year olds. Running for four-minute intervals of intensity with one-to-four minutes of rest in between, the female hamsters—er, treadmill runners—had higher heart rates and oxygen use. They were benefitting more, even while working at the same level of exertion as their male counterparts.
Beat blah workouts with interval training
Regardless of gender, mixing up a workout can be a fun way to distract us from sneaky non-fitness thoughts (such as what’s for breakfast/lunch/dessert). The study also confirms that a work-to-rest ratio of two to one is best. This means that for every four minutes of running on the treadmill, we earn two minutes of walking bliss.
Thankfully for on-the-run exercisers, HIIT can be fast and simple. Here are some alive tips to incorporate interval training into your next workout.
- Energize with 10-minute sweat sessions, including a “Good Morning, Sunshine” workout to wake your body up.
- Try indoor interval training exercises inspired by sports such as soccer and hockey.
- Diversify your running routine to leave boring workouts in the dust.
Do you already use interval training during your workouts? HIIT up our Facebook or Twitter to let us know how you refresh a tired fitness routine.