Ah, Cardio. Don’t pretend we’re friends because I honestly hate you. Due to this hatred, it makes me quite lazy when it comes to you. Maybe lazy is a bad word for it; efficient is probably a far better term. Due to this ‘efficiency’ I have done hours upon hours of research to find out how to get the most bang for my buck when it comes to cardio.
If you like running, I envy you. That is not and never will be how my body (or any sane person’s) body works. Well, what do we do to keep the fat off while traveling? There are three options…
Just never do cardio but eat super strict AF and heavy weightlifting Run long distance
- Sprints/High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
Well the first two seem like too much work, so what is this whole Sprint/HIIT thing?
According to Wikipedia, HIIT is “alternating short periods of intense anaerobic exercise with less-intense recovery periods. HIIT is a form of cardiovascular exercise.” Basically, you do a FEW sprints/circuits with a LOT of effort put into each one and then have a rest period after each! It’s better than traditional running/elliptical/other cardio because you can do much less of it and still get a far better output of fat burning from it.
Why is HIIT better than steady state cardio?
Well first of all, you spend less time hating life. According to a 1994 study conducted by Laval University in Quebec, Canada, discovered that HIIT was 9x more effective for losing fat than steady-state cardio! It works because you are never allowing your body to adjust to one single intensity level. HIIT is so successful because during your body’s recovery period, it increases the body’s resting metabolic rate (how many calories you burn just by existing) for 24 hours!
There are tons of things you can do! If you’re at the pool, do 50-100m sprints followed by a 3 minute (or less) rest and repeat until you hit 30 minutes total! If you’re by a track or road, try 20-30 second sprints, 2 minute walks/rests for 30 minutes total. If you’re in a gym, try my favorite HIIT exercise, Treadmill Incline Sprints.
- Set treadmill to highest incline it has
- set speed to one you can actually sprint at for 15 seconds (i.e. 6.5-7 mph)
- Set time to 10 minutes
- Stand to the side of the treadmill for the first 44 seconds of every minute
- Sprint for the last 15 seconds of every minute.
Being on vacation doesn’t mean you have to constantly count calories and eat perfectly to maintain your fitness. HIIT can easily allow you to indulge a little and still stick to your fitness goals! In my opinion, the shorter time hating life is well worth the extra effort for those short bursts of energy expenditure.. plus it’s a full body workout!
What is your favorite type of HIIT? Leave comments below!