HIIT, or high intensity interval training, has been taking the fitness world by storm. It has so many benefits that it offers its participants and in record time, taking less than half the time as a typical workout. Even though you are guaranteed to see results and it won’t eat up an hour of your day, HIIT isn’t for everyone.
The intensity and stress it put on the body leads many professionals to suggest you don’t make HIIT a part of your workout routine more than three times a week. Thankfully, there’s a new time saving workout on the scene that is similar to HIIT, but more doable for the average person and touting many of the same beneficial results and it is encouraged to be done every day. This new workout is called HIIPA, or high intensity incidental physical activity.
HIIPA is basically finding opportunities throughout your day to fit in short bouts of physical activity to get increase your heart rate. This can be as simple as running up a flight of stairs instead of taking the elevator or joining a game of tag with your kids. Taking advantage of a few of these everyday can seem like you aren’t even working out but in actuality, you are doing great things for your health.
Which is better HIIT or HIIPA? This article will break down the pros and cons of each of these workouts for the time crunched and help you decide which deserves more of your focus.
Time: HIIT can be done in a half hour or less. This is one of the best aspects of HIIT training. There is no one who is dedicated to their fitness and health that isn’t willing to commit a half hour of their day to a quick workout.
Effectiveness: High intensity interval training is highly effective, even for those who are already fit. If you are just beginning, a shorter, less intense version will be all you need to see great results but the more advanced you are, the harder and longer you can make your workouts and still see results.
Difficulty: Unfortunately, HIIT can seem too strenuous for some people. It does take a certain amount of dedication to regularly use HIIT training in your workout routine. HIIT also often involves a lot of high impact moves so it may not be a good idea for some who deal with damaged joints or back issues.
Equipment: HIIT training is so adaptable that you can opt to use equipment or just use bodyweight moves. If you were to use equipment, it needs to be something that can be moved quickly without danger such as a kettlebell, lighter dumbbells, and bands. You can do a HIIT workout in a small space, even in the corner of a room or next to your desk.
Time: Like HIIT, time is one of HIIPA’s greatest asset. Unlike HIIT though, it can be done in short bits of time that you find throughout your day. HIIPA can be done for less than 3 minutes or as long as 10 minutes. These little moments that you find in your day to get in a quick HIIPA would otherwise be wasted time. It’s like stealing minutes throughout your day and making them good for you.
Effectiveness: Because of the short duration of HIIPA, their ability to cause great change in your body is limited but you will be surprised by how much more energy you will have throughout your day by making quick little exertion times throughout your day a regular habit. When you try to make them fun as well or challenge yourself, you’ll see a decrease in stress and a more positive attitude. Yes, you should still see a slight drop in weight if you were otherwise sedentary.
Difficulty: HIIPA is possible to do by anyone. All you need is a little creativity and an open eye to an opportunity to use a regular daily task as a mini workout and you can take advantage of HIIPA.
Equipment: You don’t need any equipment for HIIPA because the beauty of it is that you are using objects throughout your day and your own body to increase your physical strength and cardiovascular health. For example, if you are taking in the groceries, curl the bags as you are walking them into your house. Your groceries just became your equipment.
So, which is best, HIIT or HIIPA? The decision is yours to make. Time is precious but so is our health. Making any effort to fit in a quick exercise session, whether its 5 minutes or 30 will help you. When you can’t fit in a HIIT workout, make it a goal to find 5 HIIPA opportunities in your day. When you do have the time, and if your physically able to, take advantage of an effective HIIT workout.