First things first, let’s not lie: I kind of hate cardio. It’s boring, tiring and–worst of all–leaves you all sweaty and out of breath. I much prefer yoga and weight training, but I know I have to incorporate cardio if I want to have a healthy heart and high levels of stamina.
So a while ago, I decided that I wanted to start doing HIIT (high intensity interval training) in place of some of my constant speed cardio. At first a was a little bit hesitant about starting HIIT.
I was worried it wouldn’t tire me out enough, worried it would take too much time and cognizant of the fact that I still wanted to be able to go 2 miles on the elliptical in 30 minutes. But I had a morning where I could test it out, so I did.
And it goes like this:
5 minutes fast (heart rate should be 80-90 BPM over resting)
5 minutes slow (heart rate should drop 15-20 BPM)
4 minutes fast
4 minutes slow
well, I think you get the gist.
The beauty of the circuit is that it doesn’t just work on the elliptical; it would work on the treadmill, running or even on a stationary bike or a stair-stepper (though I don’t know anyone who does half an hour of steps, that’s really hardcore).
Good modifications include doing a 15 minute circuit where you do 5 minutes fast, 4 minutes slow, etc., and work down to 1, or starting at 4 and doing a 20 minute circuit instead.
Various studies have shown that HIIT is more effective for cardiovascular health than doing continuous cardio, so I’m glad I tried it out. Since incorporating HIIT back in mid-August, I’ve been doing it once a week. Because of the time intervals, it makes cardio feel shorter, and it’s way more interesting than just going at a moderate speed. I’m not saying that constant cardio is bad; it can actually help improve stamina, and sometimes I prefer it if I want to zone out while I exercise. But doing HIIT has tons of benefits, so why not at least try it out?
If you want to shake up your routine or you’re like me and get bored of straight cardio, I strongly urge you to try this out. For more workout inspiration, follow me on Instagram @sugarandsitups and check out my YouTube channel. Bye!