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3 great HIIT workouts to improve your cardio health

Has the festive week left you feeling drained and bloated? There's no better way to get the bounce back in your step than with some HIIT workouts

Get fit with some HIIT.
Get fit with some HIIT. (Istockphoto)

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One of my favourite ways to feel energized after a long and draining week is to either go for a long run or to do a few days of short but intense HIIT workouts. And that’s what I’m doing right now, because last week was indeed long and draining. Balancing work with festive partying can be a bad thing at the best of times. Here in Delhi, a sudden dip in temperature and a spike in pollution have made the situation even worse.

In fact, because of the latter, going out for a run everyday makes no sensed really. And I really need that cardio kick to the system, so some cardio-specific HIIT is exactly what the doctor ordered. As you well know, regularly performing HIIT workouts are generally very advantageous for your cardiovascular health. However, the best way to get the most out of a session is to ensure that you are doing it right.

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The trick is in the name: high intensity interval training. As the video (above) by fitness instructor Jeremy Ethier explains, the single most important thing you need to do is to ensure that your heart rate remains high when you’re exercising. The 30-40 seconds of intense work needs to be intense, and the rest time between HIIT sessions needs to be active rest. Don’t stop entirely, but keep your body limber and keep breathing deep.

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Another thing you need to keep in mind is that while you can go up to 20 minutes for your total workout, doing a HIIT session for less than 10 minutes makes no sense whatsoever. Keeping this in mind, I’d highly recommend any HIIT workout from Joe Root, the Body Coach. His 15-minute HIIT session is great, and the 40 sec of work followed by 20 sec of rest breakup is one of my favourites.

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Another resource for excellent workouts is the fitness instructor Billy Juice. All his workouts are useful, and I especially swear by his resistance band workouts. But this 10-minute HIIT session listed above is no slouch either. If you want to do a longer session, you can just repeat the whole section for a 20 minute workout. As with all workouts, I would highly recommend that you have a proper warmup and cool down session before and after your workout. Also, remember to keep yourself well hydrated.

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