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There is very little argument over the benefits of regular exercise. There is, however, plenty of debate on which workouts are the best for losing weight and staying healthy. It is hard enough to find time in our busy day to hit the gym, let alone knowing if we are using that time effectively. Most people don’t have the time to run on a treadmill for an hour every day and if you can find the time, then why are you not seeing the results you would expect? We have a suggestion that will save you time, get you the results you want and reduce you A1C all at the same time.
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), can be performed anywhere. You don't need a gym or special equipment, but you do need to remember to test your blood sugar before and after your workout. You just perform an exercise at as high intensity as you can manage for a set time and follow it with a lower intensity exercise. By coupling high intensity with a lower intensity, you are giving your body a challenge and then rest.
The reason this is such an effective workout is that your body has to keep guessing. It doesn’t become complaisant, and you rarely see a plateau. Even when your body gets stronger, the exercise should still be challenging, because you are bringing your highest intensity to each move. Another reason HIIT workouts bring fast results is that each period of rest helps reduce stress on the body. If you run for an hour each day, you are putting an enormous amount of stress on the body, and your body will need to use energy and resources to heal itself. HIIT workouts cause little stress because you decide your intensity and only increase it as your strength and stamina improve.
No other workout is a more efficient use of time. A good HIIT workout can be anywhere from 4-25 minutes long. It is important to stay in that window because if you bring your highest intensity, you should not have the energy to go longer. A good example could be sprinting for 1 minute as fast as you can, followed by 2 minutes at a brisk walk pace. You could see that after about 20 minutes you will be feeling pretty tired.
HIIT workouts burn fat faster while increasing muscle mass. This combination is the one-two punch your weight loss plan has been waiting on. Whether you are type 1, type 2, or you are recovering from a pregnancy with gestational diabetes, this can help you build and maintain muscle. People with diabetes need muscle to more efficiently metabolize carbohydrates. If you want a lower A1C, build more muscle. You can incorporate as little or as much weight training into your HIIT session so how much muscle you build is up to you.
After each high-intensity interval training workout, your metabolism increases for up to 24 hours. That means you will be burning more calories throughout the day and into the next day. Another bonus within that 24-hour window is an increased production of human growth hormone (HGH). Over time more production of HGH will make you look and feel younger.
Many gyms offer HIIT workouts as part of their membership packages. If you don't have a gym membership you could click here and check out all that you can get with a membership. Or print a free pass here.
What do I love the most about HIIT workouts? I love that I never get bored. The time fly’s by and before I know it I am cooling down and chugging water. I use a DVD set that I purchased from Amazon called Circuit Burnout; the link is below. It is a very inexpensive set that actually works. Each video is about 20 minutes, and there is an option at the end to do a 5-minute superset. Just in case you want more. I am definitely ready for a shower after each workout. I also find that I sleep better at night and need less coffee to get me going in the morning.
If you are not interested in a DVD set, you can find workouts online. YouTube and Pinterest are good places to start. If none of these options appeal to you, try a jump rope or jumping jacks. Just remember high intensity followed by a lower intensity.
Anyone have a great HIIT workout they love? Let us know in the comments.