A Tabata Workout: The Hot New Way to Hit Your Fitness Goals

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Recently, I've been searching for new ways to burn calories without committing to a long, moderate run. I was getting bored of the usual and wanted something I can do in less time and with more intensity. That's when I turned to high-intensity interview training (HIIT), and Tabata became my favorite version of HIIT in no time. But a tabata workout is appealing for more than its convenience - it's incredibly effective! Learn what tabata is and how you can incorporate it into your workout regimen.

Tabata is a form of HIIT. This form of exercise is godsend for those who struggle to stay focused and motivate during a workout, want to workout in the comfort of their home with little or no exercise equipment and don't have much time to work out.

HIIT benefits all of us, as it requires less time and rarely gets boring due to the change in exercises throughout a session. Studies show that HIIT significantly increase aerobic and anaerobic fitness, provides significant oxidative and glycolytic skeletal muscle adaptations, has a dramatic acute and chronic effect on insulin sensitivity and leads to a loss of subcutaneous and abdominal fat. HIIT is associated with improved cardiovascular and metabolic health. Compared to continued moderate exercise, HIIT has shown to be superior in terms of the improvement of aerobic fitness and cardio-metabolic risk factors.

But what is tabata, specifically? Tabata is one of the regimens falling under HIIT. The tabata regimen was based on a 1996 study by Professor Izumi Tabata analyzing Japanese Olympic speed skaters. The exercise requires 20 seconds of ultra-intense exercise followed by 10 seconds of rest. This is repeated continuously for 4 minutes to complete 8 cycles. The key is to go as hard as possible during those 20 seconds - 100 percent maximum intensity - making it quite painstaking. But, if you give it your all for 20 seconds, you can reward yourself with 10 seconds of rest. The pauses make the workout doable, but by the end of four minutes, you'll be glad it's over.

What's great about tabata is that it allows you to fit it to your own schedule and incorporate your own high-intensity movement. Many people start off by sprinting on the treadmill while others do mat exercises. Here is a video to get you started, provided by FitSugar.

Are you up for the (albeit, short) challenge?

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