What are HIIT programs and will they work for me?

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HIIT refers to high intensity interval training (switching from high to medium intensity exercise). This means that you will be training for short periods at a high intensity with short rest periods. The goal is to train the full body in a short period of time while overloading your body. This will help promote calorie burning, cardiovascular strength, increased total body strength and increased metabolism. The high intensity exercise should be done at near maximum intensity. The medium intensity exercise should be at about 50% intensity. The number of repetitions and length of each interval depends on the exercise. The goal is to do at least six cycles and to have the entire HIIT session last at least fifteen minutes and not more than twenty. HIIT is considered to be an excellent way to maximize a workout when you are limited on time.  HIIT is performed at such an intense level that your body will spend the rest of the day expending energy to recover from it.  This is commonly referred to as EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption) and it means that you consume a great deal more oxygen recovering from the exercise bout than you would have if you'd just done a steady-state (low intensity) workout.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.