Your guide to staying fit, without hurting yourself in the process
Whether you’re someone who indulges in an occasional workout, or tend to make sure that you hit the gym every single day, we’re sure you’ve already heard about the HIIT workout routine, aka the High Intensity Interval Training. For the past few years, HIIT workouts have been the exercise routine of choice for fitness newbies and junkies alike, and these don’t seem to be going anywhere either, considering anyone with access to the Internet can simply download an app, or watch a YouTube video to work out at home. HIIT routines can help you work on a target area of your body or tone your entire body in a 15-20 minute circuit—sounds so much easier than an hour in the gym, right? However, attempting one of these by yourself at home, or even in a gym without any help, can very easily result in injury. Not having the right form, ditching a warm up or rushing through a set can all do your fitness levels more harm than good. We roped in Shwetambari Shetty, fitness expert at CureFit, to fill us in on the best ways to make sure your home workout does exactly what it’s supposed to–get you fit.
Compromising on your form is a complete no-no
“While you can work out anytime at home in whatever gear you feel comfortable, the biggest worry is around form correction—mastering the right technique of the workout,” says Shetty. “If you are not following the DIY fitness trainer’s guidance to a 100 per cent, you can hurt yourself, especially if you’re a beginner. Pay full attention to the trainer explaining the movements and make sure you use a good workout mat, the right workout gear and shoes to avoid any injuries.” If you’re trying a home workout for the first time, watch the complete video once to get familiar with the pace, make sure you’re listening to all the instructions, invest in the right equipment and do exactly what you’re asked to.
Too much exercise will not get you fit faster
“Overtraining is a common mistake. Most of these [home]workouts are short duration and sometimes, people tend to do many, which can lead to overtraining. Do exactly the workout and the number of rounds specified by the trainer and nothing more,” according to the expert.
Rest is important too
Even though the trainer on video might be able to get through a full routine without stopping, you may need a couple more breaks, especially if you’re a beginner or if you start to feel uncomfortable. In Shetty’s opinion, “[At home] you can workout at your pace without feeling pressured by peers at the gym or a class. This applies especially for people who are just starting out and are intimidated to go to a gym. However, if an injury occurs while you work out, you should immediately tend to it. Any discomfort or niggle (not soreness) calls for rest. Rest will also help you heal faster from an injury.”
Make sure you choose a workout routine that’s right for you
While it is important that you have fun when you work out, it’s imperative that you pick routines that benefit you on the whole. “Don’t choose a routine you enjoy doing over choosing the right mix of cardio, strength and flexibility and mobility,” she says. A lot of apps come with features that help you customise your body’s requirements—make use of those. Also, “even though warm up exercises can feel repetitive, don’t skip them by assuming they’re not required.”