HIIT or High Intensity Interval Training is a type of training or exercise method that involves maximum effort applied to quick bursts of exercise/activity within a short period of time. This is then followed by equally short periods of recovery, reduced activity or rest. A simple example of this is sprinting at one’s fastest pace for 45 seconds, then slowing the pace to a jog or power walk for 25 seconds. These intervals of sprints then jog can be repeated over a five or ten minute time frame.
In recent times, HIIT has become the staple cardio routine for most people. It is considered to be more effective for weight loss than steady state cardio (e.g. jogging on the treadmill at the same pace for thirty minutes). This type of training gets and keeps your heart rate up and burns more fat in less time. However, the nature of HIIT makes it injury prone and brutal on the joints. Due to the fast paced nature of the intervals, people are prone to lose the correct exercise form as they tire. Wrong form can lead to sprains, breaks, and dislocations. In addition, most HIIT exercises require jumping and other explosive movements that can hurt the joints especially the knees.
Thankfully, the era of HIIT may be making way for LIIT or Low Intensity/Impact Interval Training. As the name suggests this training method is less explosive thus, less impact on the joints. LIIT takes routines that may be HIIT and modify it to reduce explosiveness. So, in the case where jumping might be required, LIIT would change it to marching or steps. Many argue that it cannot be as effective as HIIT. However, this is not true. The only catch is that it takes more time to achieve the same amount of calorie loss. HIIT is time saving as it packs a lot of activity into a short period of time, usually ten to thirty minutes. On the other hand, LIIT may require double the time.
On top of the same health benefits you gain from HIIT, you can gain similar benefits from low intensity training like increased mobility, improved strength, and improved cardiovascular endurance. Basically, LIIT is the perfect alternative to vigorous exercise. It allows you to gain the same benefits and burn calories without burning out. The best part, people of all ages and fitness levels can do LIIT. Here are some low impact exercises you can add do alone or add to your interval routine.
Walking or Brisk Pace Walking
Just keep in mind, anything that can be done in high Intensity (HIIT) can be modified to be low intensity/low impact (LIIT).
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