Hi-intensity cardio: Exercise that is great for your health

HIIT (high intensity interval training) is a cardio session that involves rapid bursts of extremely high-intensity exercise and recovery.

This translates to that quick mile or mile run, or throwing that power shot before class to spike your intensity as you cool down.

The intensity of HIIT has been linked to higher blood sugar levels, as it elicits both increase heart rate and increase the release of insulin. These negative effects can have long-term health effects, especially for those with diabetes or those who are prediabetic.

High-intensity workouts are an interesting trend for health advice, yet most health guides suggest you avoid HIIT as not enough are well-documented.

High-intensity training can lead to increased cardio capacity in the long run, however, experts doubt the risk of cardio complications caused by high-intensity workouts.

In addition, your overall fitness isn’t the important factor when it comes to cardio capacity. Rather, a great program and particularly a consistent program is more important.

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According to the British Heart Foundation, “it’s important to adapt HIIT by moving around while doing high-intensity exercise rather than rest between workouts” to prevent HIIT from causing long-term problems.

In addition, you can do some of the same exercises to activate your body for cardio while moving and performing HIIT, such as push-ups, crunches, squat thrusts, martial arts and dance movements.

The concern is how the stress of high-intensity workouts will impact health.

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There are two types of HIIT.

Traditional HIIT

Traditional HIIT involves 15 to 20 minutes of fast-paced exercise, depending on the intensity. You would be setting a record at the 10:00 mark or higher. Usually the pace is very fast, without any recovery.

Low impact

Low impact HIIT involves a shorter duration of 15 to 30 minutes. You would do light intervals and no high-intensity exercise.

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These two cardio classes are different and highlight that there is a wide variety of HIIT workouts available.

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