High Intensity Interval Training or HIIT totally kicks your workout up a notch or two!
Adding short bursts of High Intensity to any workout can burn more calories, add more cardio and improves your after burn for the rest of the day.
High Intensity can simply help spice up a monotonous exercise or walking routine.
Isn’t that often the point of trying a new exercise? If your workout routine is boring, change it up to keep yourself motivated.
What’s the big deal with High Intensity?
High Intensity Interval Training is short bursts of exercise when you give your all followed by short recovery periods. Then repeat it again for as many repetitions as suits your needs or energy level. This type of workout increases your heart rate and can help you burn more fat in less time. A good workout in less time? It’s worth trying!
Regular exercise keeps me feeling younger, stronger and healthy. Being physically active keeps me happier, more focused and enables me to handle stress better. The thing is, I don’t really like to workout too hard! I have many exercise sessions when I don’t get winded, barely break a sweat and don’t feel any muscle burn. If I workout this way all the time, am I really getting any workout benefits? Maybe not, I just think I am exercising, time for a fix.
My problem with many HIIT workouts is they are too intense for me. This is especially true at 5am which is my typical training time. For many months I was on a burpee binge. Burpees are an excellent move but only if you feel like doing them! Lying on the floor exhausted trying to catch your breath between sets is not what I had in mind. I want to exercise but I don’t to work that hard whether I am awake of not. For some morning workout motivation, read this post.
That is why I decided to try a “Lite HIIT” workout. Yes, an oxymoron, I agree!
Adding Lite HIIT to Your Walking
I decided to try adding High Intensity segments to my walking workout specifically to test it out. Would adding some High Intensity really make a difference and amp up my calorie burn? Now after several months of testing, I can emphatically guarantee you HIIT makes a big difference for me.
The thought of “High Intensity” in a workout doesn’t thrill me. Being over 50, for me, High Intensity would usually refer to cooking, saving money on necessities or maybe cleaning out a forgotten closet. I am no longer prone to a High Intensity workout. At my age, I am more reliant on consistency in my workouts than intensity. My default setting leans more towards slow and steady wins the race. Now, my walking has changed that! To get more ideas for Adding Activity to your day, Read This.
When I first added HIIT to my walking, I had to figure out a good way to add it without constantly checking my watch. After a few different attempts, I finally settled adding HIIT each time I turned a corner. For my walking route in my neighborhood, this works perfectly.
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Feel the Benefits of High Intensity
I add 30-90 seconds of HIIT walking every time I turn a new corner or cross an intersection on my walking route. In my neighborhood, there are many short streets and turns so I have plenty of opportunity to remember to pick up my pace. If anyone was watching me closely, they would see me suddenly speed up, but nothing drastic. It would be the faster walking you would do to catch a bus or train. Rushing to beat someone to the checkout line would also look similar. Walk as fast as you can during these short spurts. This may sound like no big change, just try it out to see for yourself.
When I began adding this faster walking, I noticed a change almost immediately. My leg muscles feel like they are really getting used. The quicker pace increases the cardio leaving me more winded. I am more focused on my walking pace rather than just ambling along. After walking, I feel like I had I have done some real exercise rather than simply being active. It is too easy to relax and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine and to forget that you meant to power walk, instead of just strolling.
What I notice each time is that the pace of my entire walk has picked up and I move faster. Even my relaxed walking in between the High Intensity segments is faster. By adding in the short high intensity segments my total walking routine gets revved up and I work harder. During a typical 30-minute walk, about half of my walking is now the faster, higher intensity pace. This boosts my metabolism increases my calorie burn all day long. For more ideas on Boosting your Metabolism, see this article.
How High Intensity Works for Me
The first few times, I tried my new walking, I would forget to add the faster segments. My corner and intersection reminder works perfectly. Now I don’t think about when to speed up, it has turned into an automatic habit. To keep track, I count to 20 3-4 times, as I walk at the faster pace. This is my 1+ minute of Lite HIIT walking. It won’t matter how you do your counting, as long as you add the faster walking.
On my most typical walk, I add HIIT walking 12-15 times or approximately 12-15 minutes. For such a small change, I feel a huge difference. I have trained my brain & body because as soon as I turn the first corner, I automatically speed up. My entire walking routine is revved up and I am getting a better workout.
I have three walk routes that I prefer in my neighborhood, short, medium and long depending on the day. On work days, if I do choose to walk in the morning, it is a short 12-15 minute walk. My favorite walking route is about 30-35 minutes and my longer weekend walks are 45-60 minutes. Approximately 1/3 to ½ of my walking is now higher intensity walking. The difference is noticeable in my legs, core and stamina in general.
I can keep up the faster pace and get a better workout in a shorter amount of time.
Get out there and start walking today!! If the colder weather is slowing you down, read this! If you are looking to add a little more intensity to your exercise routine, try this! HIIT walking is easy, requires no special equipment and there is no cost involved. On your next walk try adding a faster minute or two.
See if you get hooked like I did. The best part is feeling fitter and younger all the time. Leave a comment to let readers know your progress!
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