Infographic: Should you fit HIIT into your exercise program?

Should you fit HIIT into your exercise program?

High-Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT, uses short bursts of high-energy exercise with cooldown periods between to maximize benefits and minimize workout time.

HIIT: 15 minutes, 3 days a week

HIIT training program example:

  • 3 min warm up walk
  • 30 second sprint and 60 second walk, 6 times (6x)
  • 3 min cool down walk

Shorter, less frequent HIIT workouts offer benefits similar to much longer endurance workouts.

Endurance training: 46-66 minutes, 5 days a week

Endurance training program example:

  • 3 min warm up walk
  • 40-60 min jog
  • 3 min cool down walk

Benefits of HIIT

More enjoyable: People report enjoying HIIT exercise more than longer duration moderate exercise.

More efficient: Because it is more time efficient, people are more likely to stick with HIIT exercise programs.

Improved aerobic health: HIIT exercise results are equal to or greater than endurance training results.

Greater peak and average power: HIIT helps professional athletes improve performance.

Who can benefit?

HIIT is for anybody who wants to improve fitness. Because it delivers excellent results in less time, it is especially helpful for people who otherwise have a hard time exercising.

  • May help reverse age-related cell deterioration
  • People diagnosed with Type-2 diabetes or obesity
  • People starting at an average fitness level
  • People with busy schedules and less time for exercise
  • Performance-driven athletes

Before you HIIT it, talk to your doctor

Talk to your doctor before any major change in your exercise routine, and schedule days to recover between HIIT exercises. Begin gradually and avoid frequent or long duration high intensity intervals.

HIIT is good for:

  • Stationary bicycling
  • Running
  • Elliptical or other low-impact exercise machines
  • Swimming
  • Fast walking for brief periods can provide an interval training stimulus

HIIT is NOT recommended for:

  • Exercises that combine heavy resistance and high impact
  • People with arthritis or other joint injuries or conditions. A visit with a sports medicine professional to discuss modifications is recommended.