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Q & A with Fit Flora: HIIT

A HIIT workout includes a short number of intense bursts of exercise followed by short recovery periods. These intense bursts can include jumping rope, biking, running, or swimming. For the recovery periods, you can enjoy more relaxing activities such as walking. The harder you work during the intense intervals, the more fat you burn. The recovery periods allow you to get your heart rate normalized before the next burst. 

HIIT accelerates weight loss through the fat burn and the afterburn. The bursts burn fat to provide fuel, and trains your body to work in anaerobic mode. So your ability to burn fat amplifies. People burn on average between 12-22 calories per minute during these workouts. HIIT increases your resting metabolism rate, so even after you exercise, you will still continue to burn calories. However, your body does need to recover, and I recommend that HIIT sessions only be performed about three times a week. 

You will want to keep each HIIT session under 30 minutes, alternating between high intensity exercises and periods of rest. For example, you can start by running for 30 seconds followed by 30 seconds of walking. Try to aim for 85 percent of your maximum heart rate. As your fitness improves, increase the length of each burst and shorten the rest periods. You will be a fat-burning calorie-crushing machine!

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