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A Beginner's Guide to HIIT

By Rachel Carver

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) alternates short periods of intense exercise with recovery periods. HIIT has gained popularity among people taking studio classes and participating in on-demand workouts.

However, HIIT workouts can be performed at the gym or at home. These interval workouts burn more calories per minute than other activities such as walking and cycling. HIIT can improve overall fitness and help you drop your scale number.

Because of its versatility, HIIT can be performed by anyone at any fitness level. However, as the name states, the training is intense. You want to ease into a HIIT exercise routine.

Read on to learn how to start your HIIT regimen without overdoing it.

Getting Started

Though HIIT workouts give you many benefits, they can also stress your body. This is especially true for HIIT beginners or people new to regular exercise.

Start slow. Listen to your body, and find a HIIT regimen that you will enjoy and stick with. Injuring yourself in the beginning will not result in an enjoyable experience.

Start with an in-person class or  an online program facilitated by a reputable trainer. Research local gyms, or find an on-demand program with several positive reviews.

Incorporate Recovery into Your HIIT Schedule

HIIT will challenge you until your body adjusts. Set a weekly schedule that incorporates 2-3 workout days and recovery days. The goal is to strengthen your body, but you need to take care of yourself along the way.

Recovery reduces soreness, prevents injury, and allows for more adjustment time as your workout intensity increases. In addition to your rest days, you can incorporate cardio and cross-training workouts into your week. These steps will help you maximize your HIIT workouts and achieve your fitness goals.

Here is a sample workout schedule that incorporates HIIT.

HIIT on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday

Pick exercises from this list. Follow 30 seconds of work with 30 seconds of rest. Do this 4-5 times in a row to burn calories, burn fat, and increase endurance. Customize your routine so that it works for you.

  • Squats
  • High-knees
  • Mountain climbers
  • Skater jumps

Something light on Tuesday and Thursday

Pick something fun and easy. Go for a walk, ride your bike, or take a Yoga class. You want to stay active while giving your body a break from the training intensity.

Rest on Friday and Sunday

You will need rest days to give your muscles a break. A recovery day before your Monday HIIT session will recharge your body and mind.

Setting an exercise schedule makes you more likely to continue. However, life changes, which might mean your workouts need to change as well. Be realistic and gentle with yourself, and head to The Joint Chiropractic clinic near you with any questions you might have. The Joint's affordable pricing and walk-in visits make care accessible to everyone.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Mukilteo, Wash.

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