Experts have been raving for years about the benefits of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). It uses circuits to help keep the heart rate up and vary movements and muscle groups worked, increasing results and improving cardiac stamina.
An additional benefit to HIIT routines is that they can be done literally anywhere, using bodyweight exercises. No equipment is necessary, no gym is required. Just you, a little space and some time can lead to a fantastic workout.
But what if you are looking for something a little different? Or you are looking for longevity in your exercise, not intervals? Maybe you need something less intense?
Here are four effective alternatives to HIIT to check out.
Have problems with your joints? Had an injury that makes exercise difficult? You aren’t alone and that is a major reason that so many people give up being active and become couch potatoes. It isn’t laziness, they just think they have no choice. But the perfect exercise for those fitness-phobes is swimming. The water helps ease pressure on the joints while building muscle. It can even help to heal nerve damage by building tissue around the nerves. In addition, it increases the heart rate and the cold of the water may help to torch even more calories. Try either lap swimming to exercise aerobics.
Biking is a unique fitness activity as it allows you to really customize your intensity and offers regular breaks through the ride as you go down hills or switch to flatter surfaces. But it also offers more challenges as you ride up hills or go up subtle inclines. Don’t have the ability to bike outdoors? Try an indoor recumbent or cycling bike and play with the resistance to get the same effects.
Walking is a great way to get some activity in and is good for your heart. But if you want to reach the level of intensity and see the same results as you would with a HIIT routine, you need something a little more. Hiking offers steeping inclines, difficult terrain and changing elevations. It will better train your body and give you more gains than if you are just walking on a flat street. Plus, it gets that heart really pumping in some areas.
A very gentle exercise, you may be wondering how yoga could possibly compare to HIIT. It is true that it is a less strenuous exercise, but you would be amazed at just how effective it can be. Yoga is a full body workout, extending and building muscle. You will get stronger, more flexible and promote relaxation all at once.
So if HIIT isn’t your thing, don’t worry. Some very standard workouts can do just as well for you.