Five Things to Check Before You Start a High Intensity Interval Training Routine

by Sarah Ruhlman

If you would like to give high intensity interval training (HIIT) a go, you are not opting for the easy way of exercise. It is not something you would start as a hobby; it has to be taken seriously to get results. Further, not everyone is able to do this routine without injuries. If you have excess weight, you might first want to start with a diet, so your joints are not under extreme pressure when you are working out. Below you’ll find a few things you must check before you commit to HIIT.

Your Fitness Level

It is important that you are checking your fitness level and get a thorough assessment before you start cardio or HIIT exercises. If you need to build muscles and strength first, and you cannot finish one round of reps in the beginning, this might not be the right way to get started with getting fit. You should find an alternative exercise method first, and then go back to HIIT when you are stronger and have more energy.

Your Heart and Lungs

Before you start any serious exercise program, you will need to consult with a cardiologist and ask for their professional advice. They might say that you have to take it slow, or choose a slower moving exercise. At the same time, if you have asthma, you might be struggling for breath when doing high intensity interval training. Talk to a lung specialist and ask them how you can stay safe when exercising.  

Joints and Injuries

HIIT activates the “fast twitch” muscles, and this means that your risk of injury is higher. Unless you have played sports before or have worked out for a long time, you will need to make sure that you have a solid warm up routine to go with the HIIT, or you can accidentally injure yourself and will have to give up exercise altogether. If you get injured, you will not only miss out on the benefits of getting fit, but also become less mobile.

Can Your Diet Support Your Routine?

With every strong workout routine, it is important that you adjust your diet to the needs of your body. If you are a vegetarian or vegan, you might need some food supplements or increase your protein intake, so you can build stronger muscles faster. Pay attention to your Magnesium and Zinc intake, as if your body doesn’t get enough of these minerals, you will develop serious muscle pains or injuries.

Can You Keep It Up?

You will also have to get realistic about your workout routine plan. If you suddenly stop the exercise after a few weeks, your body will still think it needs the same amount of energy in the form of food, and you are likely to put on weight.

Whenever you are planning on creating a new exercise routine, it is important that you play safe. You have to check with your doctors that you are not putting your health at risk, and adjust your diet if necessary to support your body in building muscles and strength.

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