When it comes to achieving your fitness goals, there are plenty of workout options available. Two popular choices are high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and cardio workouts. But which one is best for you? In this article, we’ll explore the differences between HIIT and cardio, their benefits, and how they can help you reach your fitness goals.
What Is HIIT?
HIIT is a workout program that involves short bursts of high-intensity cardiovascular exercise followed by rest periods. It aims to get your heart rate up quickly, typically reaching about 80% of your maximum heart rate. Some super-high intensity HIIT workouts can even push you to 90% or 100% of your max heart rate. The rest periods usually involve light activity, such as walking or jogging, and the entire workout can be completed in 10-30 minutes.
What Are the Benefits of HIIT?
One of the main benefits of HIIT is its effectiveness. According to fitness experts, a 20-minute HIIT workout can burn as many calories as a 45-minute steady-state cardio session. Additionally, HIIT can improve lung capacity and increase blood flow in the body. It may even increase your resting metabolism, so you continue to burn calories for up to 24 hours after your workout. HIIT can also target difficult areas of fat, such as the lower abs and thighs, while still helping you build muscle mass.
Are There Any Limitations to HIIT?
While HIIT can be an effective workout, it’s important to remember that it’s not a magic solution. A poor diet will not be compensated for by HIIT workouts alone. If you’re not creating a calorie deficit through your exercise routine, you may not see any weight loss from HIIT. Additionally, some people may find the high-intensity nature of HIIT to be too challenging, especially if they have health concerns or injuries.