Kick It!

Engage with the West Michigan Woman Community!

New Year's resolutions on your mind? Planning on getting back on track, fitness-wise?

Cardio is a buzzword staple within the fitness industry—and for good reason. Cardio training lowers blood pressure, aids in burning body fat, increases metabolism and builds endurance. Cardio is sure-fire way to bring on a solid sweat. You also can't compete in a physically strenuous activity, such as a marathon or a single-track mountain bike race, without earning yourself a solid cardio foundation.

Knowing all of this, a question still remains: What's the most effective way to lose those stubborn pounds? Should you log a half dozen hours a week performing steady state cardio activity? Or, behind door number two, spend half that time on high-intensity interval training efforts commonly known as HIIT?

Steady state cardio is any form of cardiovascular/aerobic activity maintained at an even rate for an extended period of time. Walking, jogging and even-paced cycling all fall under the low-intensity umbrella. On the intensity spectrum, you feel challenged but comfortable and could probably maintain the rate of intensity for 10 or more minutes.

On the other side of the spectrum, HIIT is a short period of intense effort followed by a brief period of rest, like 20 seconds in a breathless and highly intense level, then resting for 10 seconds, perhaps marching in place or walking at a slow pace to the point where you feel yourself recover somewhat out of the breathless zone. This includes activities such as burpees, running and cycling sprints, rapid jump roping, squat jumps and, our favorite, kickboxing at a high output. Again, the 20-second activity pushes you to the point of discomfort and breathlessness.

While you should incorporate both sweat-inducing cardio activities into your weekly workout regimen for a well-rounded routine and a nice aerobic foundation, you need HIIT in your program if you want to achieve weight loss, increased metabolism, improved muscle tone and endorphin (feel-good chemical) release maximization. HIIT allows you to burn a lot of calories in a shorter amount of time, while building lean muscle mass.

We don't know about you, but we're grabbing our gloves and getting fit and fabulous at a kickboxing class. Save real time. See real results. Get real with HIIT!

For more information, contact CKO Kickboxing.

Photo courtesy of CKO Kickboxing.


More stories you'll love