HIIT – The New Cardio 1

Aviva Sinay

Cardio – The most hated 6 letter word in fitness. It feels like nothing is worse – boring, painful and looong. Whether it’s running on a treadmill, rowing or using a cross-trainer – It can make the most fanatical gym-goer quiver and shudder

It would be great to just avoid cardio all together, but the benefits are too many and too significant to ignore:

  • Improved lung capacity and strength
  • Improved heart health
  • Calorie burn – aids weight loss
  • Improved cardiovascular health
  • Increased bone density.
  • Stress relief
  • Reduced risk of heart disease and some types of cancer


So what is HIIT? The acronym stands for High Intensity Interval Training. As the name suggests, it’s a high tempo form of exercise, which is broken into short stints or intervals.

What are the benefits?

  • Boosts metabolism
  • No equipment needed
  • Leads to fat loss (while maintaining muscle)
  • Boosts Endurance
  • Improve lung capacity and strength
  • More enjoyable
  • Quick and convenient
  • Improved cardiovascular health
  • Increased bone density

How does it work?

Simple. Give your maximum effort through short, intense workout bursts. Have a short break, then get back to round 2.

Why does it work?

HIIT keeps your heart rate up, which means the body’s need for oxygen increases. This leads to an oxygen deficit post-work. The body works hard to replenish the oxygen deficit and this forces your body to burn fat well after you have finished your workout.

Beginner HIIT example

  1. Jumping jacks
  2. Lateral shuffles
  3. Jump squats

Perform by completing 3 rounds of each exercise for 45 seconds. Rest for 15 seconds in-between. Make sure maximum effort is shown for each round of exercise.

(photo by Keith Allison)