The new way to get fit – fast

No time to work out? No wor­ries. Hiit can get you fit in half the time, and any­one can do it, any­where, writes Kate O’neill

Northern Rivers Style - - CONTENTS -

YOU want to get fit, but there just aren’t enough hours in the day. Sound fa­mil­iar? Hiit could be your an­swer. Hiit is an in­creas­ingly pop­u­lar style of ex­er­cise that in­volves short, high bursts of ac­tiv­ity, fol­lowed by pe­ri­ods of rest. It’s an in­cred­i­bly ef­fi­cient way of get­ting many of the ma­jor ben­e­fits of ex­er­cise

“You don't have to work out as long – you can eas­ily get a good work­out within 20 min­utes, com­pared to a low to medium in­ten­sity work­out last­ing the hour,” says Goonellabah Sports and Aquatic Cen­tre per­sonal trainer, Ge­orge Stevens.

“It's es­sen­tially half the time."

Re­cent stud­ies have also shown Hiit to have more ben­e­fits for the body and be more ef­fec­tive than longer, low to medium in­ten­sity work­outs. What's not to love?

How to do it

A Hiit work­out can in­volve al­most any form of ex­er­cise – short in­tense bursts on an ex­er­cise bike, a circuit class, rounds of push ups, star jumps, squats, hill sprints - as long as you're push­ing your­self as hard as pos­si­ble.

“On a scale of one to 10, where one is easy and 10 is so hard that you re­ally can't keep it up, you re­ally want to be work­ing at a nine,” Ge­orge says.

Typ­i­cally, the pe­ri­ods of in­ten­sity last for about a minute, and are fol­lowed by two to three min­utes rest, but this can vary.

Anti age­ing

Stud­ies have shown push­ing your heart rate up close to its max­i­mum for th­ese short pe­riod of time can have ben­e­fits for your body at a cel­lu­lar level,

A Mayo Clinic study found Hiit seemed to change a cell's DNA in a way that boosted the mus­cle abil­ity to pro­duce en­ergy. It also trig­gered the growth of new mus­cle, help­ing to coun­ter­act mus­cle loss that comes with age­ing.

Calo­rie burn­ing

The after ef­fects of a Hiit work­out (in­clud­ing in­creased calo­rie bur­ring) can last for up to two days.

“You get an EPOC, or Ex­er­cise Post Oxy­gen Con­sump­tion,” Ge­orge says.

“When you're do­ing hard stuff, you’re not re­ally us­ing much oxy­gen, you're us­ing blood glu­cose and en­ergy stored in the mus­cles.”

“So for the next 12-24 hours when your re­cov­er­ing, your bod­ies oxy­gen de­mand is a lot higher – you’re catch­ing up and you burn a lot more calo­ries dur­ing rest for the next 24-48 hours.”

Less stress

You also get less bang­ing on the joints and ac­cu­mu­lated stress be­cause it's so short and sharp.

“It's fan­tas­tic for the body,” Ge­orge says.

Who can do it?

Hiit is suit­able for any age group.

How of­ten?

Two to three times a week is enough. Make sure your work­outs are not on con­sec­u­tive days so your body has time to re­cover.

Can I do it at home?

Yes, you can do Hit any­where. Ge­orge rec­om­mends com­bin­ing car­dio with strength train­ing if you’re do­ing it at home. You'll also find plenty of home Hiit work­out ideas on the web, or if you need a bit of a push, look for a Hiit-style pro­gram at your lo­cal gym like circuit, RPM, box­ing, Ta­bata or Les Mills Grit.

PHOTO: OATAWA

QUICK AND EF­FEC­TIVE: Hiit is one of the most ef­fi­cient ways of get­ting ex­er­cise, and can have more ben­e­fits than longer, low in­ten­sity work­outs.

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