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Effective HIIT to lose weight

Exercising is excellent, regardless of the activity you choose. But some workouts are more advantageous than others if you want to lose weight effectively. This is the case of High-Intensity Interval Training or HIIT.

A study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine identified how HIIT leads to a reduction of body fat on average 28.5% higher than the training of moderate continuous intensity. But it has also been demonstrated that this technique has many other significant advantages that should make everyone willing to start doing it.

HIIT consists of moments of intense workout (adapting to the possibilities and training degree of everyone), alternated with phases of recovery.

But how can it be superior to "classic" training?

First of all, HIIT allows you to burn a much higher number of calories; it also increases the so-called Excess Postexercise Oxygen Consumption. The EPOC enables the body to remain in a "training" state for up to 24 hours after working out. Interval training also helps insulin sensitivity, deriving in more receptive muscles growth due to the exercise, and more efficient fat consumption.

HIIT also boosts your general health: it improves body composition (favouring lean mass), reduces visceral fat, and controls glycemic levels in patients with Type 2 diabetes. A study also showed that ten weeks of interval training are effective in improving cholesterol levels. Other benefits include stimulating the secretion of growth hormone (which helps burning fat) and suppressing appetite. Besides, HIIT helps improve fatigue resistance.

How can you set it up?

A HIIT session is based on typically 20-60 seconds of high-intensity exercise, alternated with recovery moments from 1 to 2 times that of the blast. Thus the total duration of the session is 20-40 minutes.

One of the main advantages of the method is that it can be done with virtually any cardio equipment, or even without it. For example, while running in the park or on the treadmill, you can alternate more intense spurts with walking. The same can be done with sprinting on the bike, jumping rope, battle rope, you name it.

Given the intensity and explosiveness of the exercise, whatever you chose, it is essential to warm-up properly for 3-4 minutes before starting the session and to have a few minutes of cool-down at the end.

Let's take an example of HIIT on the exercise bike. Start with 4 minutes of warm-up, then go to 1-minute sprint (if you are starting 30 seconds are fine) with the maximum possible resistance to pedal very quickly, then move to the minute of slow pedaling with low resistance (do not be afraid to take up to 2 minutes to recover). Repeat the routine for 30 minutes, followed by a few minutes of cool-down.

Given the intensity of this training, it is best to do it in days dedicated to cardio. HIIT sessions should be well distributed during the week and not in subsequent days to favour muscle recovery and guarantee optimal use of one's athletic resources.

This type of training, with some specific considerations, is also ideally suited for seniors or those who are starting over, or starting for the first time to do some exercise. Shorter and more intense sessions are ideal for already trained individuals who want more results.

Now you have all the elements to revolutionize cardiovascular training and get better results in less than half the time. Take your cardio workout to the next level and get back in shape!