As a big fan of HIIT, here is a cool infographic from greatist.com on why HIIT can give you sky-rocket benefits!
In short, the above reasons holds for why I incorporate HIIT into my weekly regime:
- HIIT is time-efficient. More calories, shorter amount of time. Period.
- HIIT gives you a higher EPOC (Excess Post-Exercise Oxygym Consumption), which yields a higher afterburn post-exercise, causing you to still burn calories even after you are done.
But here are still some reasons why I choose to do cardio:
- HIIT is awesome, yes, fast and efficient. But it is also TAXING if you are maxing out your weeks ahead with just strength and HIIT. This can be overbearing for your central nervous system. and result in higher chances of burning out your body, instead of recovering. Try including a day or 2 for low-intensity within the week to boost recovery. If you are training intensely for a week, it will be good to have a deload week of steady-state cardio or even low-intensity activities like yoga.
- If you are looking to come back fro a sedentary life, then jumping all into a 30-minute nonstop bootcamp spider climbers may indeed… set you spider-crawling for the door. The key idea here is progressive. Begin your journey again with cardio may be a better start to slowly rebuilding your cardiovascular rate, rather than suddenly pounding up on the heart throbs.
- Most people say cardio is a waste of time, although I beg to differ. Empty cardio is a waste of time. Because while burning the calories, most of us don’t take advantage of the steady-state motion. Usually we are running just to pass time, to exchange it for the calories. Try, instead to combat the boredom by undertaking de-stressing tasks. For example, If I’m doing some inclined walking on the treadmill, I usually like to detach from everything else from the world, immerse myself in articles, magazines, documentaries and let my imagination run wild. If I’m running, then a podcast would be more suitable without all the eye-focus jitters. Take the time to even space out, and re-evaluate your priorities in life. You may never know but some of your life revelations could come from that period of quietness.
So all in all, the big picture is for the busy rat, HIIT is still an overall winning strategy to maximizing fat loss. Do it. 30 minutes. 3 to 4 times a week. Eat well. And you will notice changes in your energy, mood and physique. And should you choose to get some cardio in, remember, don’t make it an empty cardio.