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Want to get fit? Try HIIT!

HIIT Jersey shore fitness NJ blog

If you're new to exercise, any type of activity with the word "intensity" might turn you off. But don't knock high-intensity interval training (HIIT) until you've tried it. Research shows that HIIT, in which you alternate short bouts of intense exercise with periods of rest rather than doing long bouts of moderate-intensity "steady-state" exercise, can offer excellent health benefits in relatively little time.

Instead of, say, a 45-minute walk or jog at a consistent pace, a HIIT workout may last just 15 minutes. And it's not just for hard-core fitness buffs. In a recent study, researchers had inactive people try HIIT along with steady-state exercise to compare how much they enjoyed each — and how likely they were to do them on their own. Turns out they enjoyed both forms of exercise equally, and 79 percent of participants reported doing HIIT outside the lab.

There are HIIT classes at fitness centers and online, but you can create your own HIIT workout by alternating sessions of intense exertion with periods of rest while you're walking, running, biking, swimming, or doing any other activity that gets your heart rate up. (If you've been sedentary or have a chronic condition, talk with your doctor before trying HIIT.) "You can adjust your exercise-to-rest ratios depending on your fitness level," notes Cleveland Clinic exercise specialist Ryan Sidak. "Begin by using a 1:2 ratio of exercise to rest, e.g. 20 seconds of intense exercise and 40 seconds of rest. As you become stronger, try moving to a ratio of 1:1 so that both intervals are equal." Whether you're pressed for time, just starting to exercise, or want to mix up your routine, HIIT can be a fun and very efficient way to stay fit and healthy. Cleveland Clinic Wellness

- Cleveland Clinic Wellness

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