Why HIIT Workouts Drive Results (And The Best Way To Start)
Burn more calories with this easy workout switch.
HIIT workouts can be done just about anywhere with little to no impact on their effectiveness. These workouts are designed to give you the workout you need to feel your best whether you’re hitting the trail or heading to the gym by incorporating short bursts of hard work and rest periods. Find out more about HIIT running workouts and how to get the most out of your workout time.
HIIT stands for high-intensity interval training. It sounds scary, but it’s not. At a basic level, all HIIT workouts alternate between intense, short periods of work and more moderate recovery periods. “You’re moving back and forth between high-level exercise to burn quick sugar and lower level cardio which burns stored fat,” says Aaptiv Trainer Jessica Muenster. It goes like this: Push yourself as hard as you can and then back off to catch your breath. Repeat.
HIIT running workouts incorporate the basic structure of a HIIT workout into a run. So, you’ll be going from sprints down to a quick walk or from a steady jog to an all-out run for short periods of time.
HIIT workouts are the not-so-secret weapon of the fitness world. If you’re willing to put in the work, HIIT sessions up your performance, improve your overall endurance, and increase your VO2 max (the maximum amount of oxygen your body can use during intense exercise.) As your VO2 max increases, you’ll be able to run faster and further. HIIT running workouts also burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time.
What are HIIT running workouts?
Treadmill or outside, hill work is some of the best running HIIT you can do. If you’re ready for HIIT running workouts, try these Aaptiv classes: Intensify Those Hills or Hips & Hills.
If you are able to run outside, “Run hard up a hill, and take double that time to walk down,” says Muenster. “Remember that during recovery periods, you don’t want to get completely comfortable.” Another option: move at your fastest, consistent pace for 30-45 seconds, then walk for about 60 seconds. You want to repeat that effort, with the repetitions depending on your fitness level. Not sure how uncomfortable you should feel? Muenster has a couple of recommendations:
1. Set a big goal, but take baby steps to get there.
2. Use a fitness tracker to get real-time feedback about how you are feeling.
Dynamic workouts, such as HIIT or jumping, require your body to work in several facets. To avoid injury, make sure you warm up and cool down properly (check out options for this on Aaptiv under the stretching section). During your workout, stay hydrated and make adjustments as necessary.