I’ve been gearing up to put on a bikini, so I’ve been turning up my cardio. I turn ordinary arc trainer sessions to HIIT-which stands for high intensity interval training. Think about it this way. When I ran track, these were the workouts that involved suicides, sprints, burpees, high knees. A tough spin class can qualify, and of course Insanity.

What I do is power through the steep inclines as fast as I can, easing up only when I’m almost level. I also pick up the speed for the last two minutes.

Not sure if you’re workout qualifies? Typically, HIIT can’t last more than 45 minutes because of the toughness factor. Be sure to monitor your heart rate. A good measure is 220 BPM minus your age. For me, that means I need to be around 190.

HIIT also builds endurance and is great for long distance runs. Fartlek runs can qualify, and these are slow runs with occasional sprints. When training for my half marathon, I ran on a 3.5 mile path. I would run at a moderate speed, but turn it up for about 30 seconds, plus the last quarter mile. Ideally, for the HIIT cardio benefits (increase resting metabolism), I should have gone another mile to hit a half hour.

Benefits of HIIT:

  • Increased fat burning
  • Increased endurance
  • Speed
  • 24 hours of a raised metabolism
  • Fits into a busy schedule

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