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Get Fit: High Intensity Interval Training Can Help Fight Obesity

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When most people think of cardio, they think of long, boring jogs, or endless hours on the elliptical. I’ve got good news for you: there’s a method of cardio that takes much less time and is far superior to jogging to help you burn fat. It’s called High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and this article will give you the basics so you can take your body from an obese state to a new fitness level.

What is High Intensity Interval Training?

High Intensity Interval Training involves alternating between very intense bouts of exercise and low intensity exercise. For example, sprinting for 30 seconds, then walking for 60 seconds is high intensity interval training. HIIT can be used both anaerobically (in the gym with weights) and aerobically with cardio.

Why Is HIIT the Best Cardio to Burn Fat?

Exercise physiologists used to believe that “steady state” cardio was superior for fat loss because relatively more fat is used by the body as fuel at lower exercise intensities than at higher intensities.

The “Fat Burning Zone” shown on most cardio equipment as only 60 percent -65 percent of maximum heart rate is really a myth and is NOT optimal for burning fat. Yes, you burn more fat relative to glycogen when going for a walk, but what we care about is total fat burn.

At higher intensities, you are burning far more fat, even though the fat/glycogen ratio is lower.  In addition, interval training allows you to exercise at very high intensities for a much longer period of time than steady state, so you burn more fat.

As an added bonus, there’s also an afterburn effect known as EPOC (excess-post exercise oxygen consumption). You increase your metabolism and burn more calories for up to 24 hours after interval training, whereas going for a jog burns almost NO calories after.

Read more: Built Lean

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