When you ask people to describe cardio, their immediate answer is endless hours spent on the treadmill, bike or elliptical trainer in hope they will burn unwanted calories and body fat. Do they enjoy it? The major would say no as it's incredibly boring and dull.
Now do not get me wrong, if you enjoy a long cardio workout, then good for you! I love nothing more than going for a long run on a summer's morning just as the sun is coming up. If you're not into your long cardio workouts then I'd like to let you into a little secret, High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), which uses bursts of high intensity cardio followed by slow intensity periods of recovery and the best thing about this type of training is you can get it over and done with within 20 minutes (excluding the warm up and cool down), opposed to 40 minutes + with low intensity cardio.
An example of a High Intensity Interval Training session may look something like this. 20 seconds of all out sprinting followed by 40 seconds of slow recovery do this fifteen times and there you have it your workout completed.
There are different activities that you can do for this type of training whether it be the elliptical trainer, bike or roller but the out and out winner would definitely be sprinting. If you have an injury and can not sprint my next favorite would be a stationary spinning nose.
With low intensity training, doing long runs or a long bike ride will only burn fat for as long as you are working out and when you stop, the fat burning stops! But with HIIT your metabolism will be spiked and you will continue to burn fat for up to 24 hours after you have finished working out. Imagine, 9 hours after finishing your workout you're sat in your office or your car and you're still burning fat, how cool is that!
Therefore High Intensity Cardio burns more calories than low intensity cardio and as we know, to lose weight we must burn more calories than we consume.
Other benefits of HIIT are:
o Improved cardiovascular endurance
o Increase in lean muscle mass
o Reduced risk of Metabolic Syndrome
o Improvement in arterial elasticity
After you've completed eight weeks of HIIT, take a week off before you start the training again.