As most of you who make time for exercise already know, staying physically active can boost your mood (hello, endorphins!), increase your energy levels, improve bone and muscle strength, and help your body better fight off disease. And while there are plenty of workouts that check off one or more of those boxes, there's one fitness trend in particular that covers all of them: high intensity interval training. Yes, there's a slew of benefits with HIIT workouts, and this method might just help provide what your bod is missing.
As one of the biggest fitness trends of the moment, HIIT workouts have been rapidly gaining recognition and fans — including some of the top experts in the industry. Two such endorsers are Tone It Up co-founders Karena Dawn and Katrina Scott, who have created a fitness empire that includes a user-friendly app, a nutrition program, products and more. As their legion of social media followers know, these two regularly switch it up in their workouts, including elements of strength training and cardio, as well as restorative yoga moves and more, so naturally HIIT is a part of the mix.
HIIT alternates (as the name suggests) high intensity exercises with periods of recovery, so it's great for those who want a butt-kicking workout without beating up their bodies. That said, according to Dawn and Scott, it's still possible to overdo it. "Your body needs time to recover from all that intensity," explains Dawn. "In our fitness app we typically incorporate two HIIT routines per week to boost your metabolism and improve your cardiovascular health, and we always put some fun sculpting and strengthening moves into these routines too."
She also notes that while doing such exercise is really great for your health, what you are putting into your body is just as important for a complete package. Dawn mentions that getting on a nutrition plan in addition to your HIIT workouts will leave you feeling "feeling fitter, leaner, stronger, and more confident than ever." For more reasons these two believe HIIT might just be a hit for you, read ahead for four big time benefits.
It's Great For Busy Women
Those who have a hard time fitting in a 60-minute class in the midst of a busy work day will love the HIIT, as it is essentially made for them. "You can get a great HIIT workout in 10 minutes or less if you're short on time," Scott shares. "The idea behind HIIT workouts is that you work at an all-out effort for anywhere from 30 to 60 seconds, then recover (either at full rest or active recovery) for another 10 to 30 seconds, and repeat."
You Can Do It Anywhere
If you travel often or have a hard time leaving your home or office due to a hectic or demanding schedule, HIIT workouts are definitely for you, says Scott. "You can do HIIT workouts anywhere," she explains. "You don't need equipment or a lot of space to do a HIIT workout. Tons of bodyweight exercises work well to rev your heart rate. For example, you can pick four moves, such as squat jumps, high knees, plank jacks, and mountain climbers — give as much effort as you can for 30 seconds and then rest for 15 seconds."
The workout guru adds that while it's important to push your pace and do as many reps as possible during the bursts of exercise, keeping your focus on your form is of utmost importance. "That's why we always make sure to demonstrate and coach you through the moves on the Tone It Up app — and we're always keeping ya motivated, especially when the moves get extra challenging," she says. "The app allows us to be your personal trainers whenever and wherever you are."
You Get A Two-For-One
According to Dawn, another amazing benefit of HIIT workouts is that you get a cardio and strength workout in one. "Because you're pushing your limits through those exercise intervals, you spike your heart rate, providing cardio benefits," she explains. "Then, because you're also using your muscles to perform moves like squats or push-ups or whatever exercise you choose, you also work to build muscle and strength."
It's Heart Healthy
At the end of the day, one of the most prominent benefits of HIIT workouts is their impact on your overall health. "Besides making you feel stronger and fitter, HIIT workouts can improve your heart health and help you regulate blood sugar levels," says Scott. "There are so many benefits to a HIIT workout and improving your overall health is such a great pay-off."