In the final week of April for Move More Month, let’s press pause…during exercise! Or in other words, focus on interval training.

You may have seen the acronym HIIT which stands for High Intensity Interval Training. 

Does the phrase “high intensity” sound less than appealing? It’s not as sinister as it sounds, we promise! Interval training is simply a higher intensity movement followed by a lower intensity movement (or rest). 

In simple terms, it’s a period of time you are working harder and then a period of time resting. Sound a little better? If we have peaked your interest, hear us out on these 5 bonuses of HIIT training:

  1. You can burn more calories: Work harder, burn more calories! This happens even during short bursts of intense activity. No need to slave away on those cardio machines when you can do more with short bursts!
  2. Shorter workout time: Round of applause here! Did we sell you on this one? Yes-you can burn MORE calories and spend LESS time exercising. If a standard aerobic workout is 40 minutes, you can decrease that by half with an interval routine.
  3. You will improve your cardiovascular fitness: Working at higher levels of intensity increases your ability to sustain any type of cardio routine longer. What once maybe took you 60 min to do a walking loop may now take you 45 minutes. Your capacity for working harder for longer will increase.
  4. Time flies when you’re HIITing it: Adding variety and constantly changing what you do will make your exercise routine much less boring.
  5. No equipment needed: You don’t need anything fancy to do a simple interval workout.

Ready for the details?

Interval training always follows these basic principles: warm up for a few minutes, then complete a series of “intervals” where you are working harder for a specific period of time and resting or working at a lower intensity for a specific period of time. Cool down and stretch. Pat self on back.

Need some ideas? Try one of these:

Simple Interval Routine: Walking, running, or cycling: Warm up 3-5 minutes. Pick up your pace for 30 seconds. Slow your pace for 2 minutes. Repeat 5-8 times. Cool down pace for 3-5 minutes. Stretch.

Strengthening Interval Routine: Try a HIIT workout! Take a look at our body weight HIIT routine for ideas. Click on the image for your PDF copy.

interval HIIT routine