While you may be used to an hour of steady cardio daily, high-intensity interval training has been proven to rev up your metabolism, burn major fat, and improve your endurance. It’s easy to fit into your schedule as well — all it takes is 10 to 25 minutes a day of HIIT training for a sweat session that works your muscles to their full potential.
Whether you’re jumping rope, performing burpees, or hitting the track, there are a few things to know before you jump right into your HIIT routine so you can get the most out of your workout.
1. Eat the perfect snack
You can’t perform your best if your body isn’t properly fuelled. Eating right can really make all the difference when you’re performing at a high intensity. The American Council on Exercise suggests eating a moderate- to high-carb meal about three to four hours before your HIIT workout begins. And make sure this meal has some protein in it, too. Whole-wheat toast with peanut butter and a banana or Greek yogurt with berries and almonds are great snack ideas that have all the components you’ll need.
2. Wear the right shoes
When you’re starting a HIIT workout, you expect to move quickly from exercise to exercise, constantly working at high intensity throughout, and the right pair of shoes can be the difference between comfort and injury. Complex explains, while most cross-training shoes will get the job done, you’ll want a shoe that’s minimal with lateral support. Larger, heavier sneakers may slow you down at best or not offer enough support, making your quick HIIT movements more difficult to perform.
3. Don’t overdo it
The idea of a great workout in less than 25 minutes may be appealing to you, but you have to remember that you’ll be working your body to the max, so be careful not to overdo it. Get Healthy U explains when you’re first starting HIIT, you should make modifications to meet your fitness level. Keep an eye on your heart rate with a monitor and skip out on the jumping moves if you have to, as these are the exercises that will really make your heart work harder. Starting out with a single workout per week is a good way to begin, and you can increase from there. And of course, take a few days to recover during the week.