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Thursday, September 3, 2015

High Intensity Interval Training: Is it Right for You?

High intensity interval training (HIIT) is one of the hottest fitness trends. Gyms solely dedicated to this type of workout are everywhere.

So, what does this fitness program entail? It is really worth all the hype? And are there any risks involved?

To decide if HIIT is a good fit for you, consider the following:

What is HIIT?

HIIT is a form of intense cardiovascular exercise that incorporates elements of Olympic weightlifting, plyometrics, powerlifting, gymnastics, calisthenics, strongman, and other controlled movements. Its unique format alternates periods of short intense anaerobic exercise with brief recovery periods. Sprints, followed by a series of squats, coupled with a few repetitions using various weights or kettlebells might make up a typical HIIT sequence.

What are the benefits of HIIT?

Shorter, more intense workouts (normally around thirty minutes a few times a week), with less time spent at the gym, are one of the main draws of HIIT. This type of workout aims to improve fat burning and glucose metabolism, which are also great benefits. Often HIIT is done in groups so the camaraderie with others helps keep you motivated.

What are the risks associated with HIIT?

Overuse injuries such as tendonitis, bursitis, and muscle strains are extremely common in HIIT, especially for those who jump right in being less active for a while. There is also the risk of hurting yourself if you don't set the machines or equipment properly.

Check with your doctor before starting HIIT, or any similarly intensive exercise program. Wear properly-fitting clothes and shoes, and always work with a certified trainer and safe equipment.

If you experience persistent pain or discomfort while engaging in this, or any type of workout, contact us.

(Adapted from STOP Sports Injuries)

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