We’ve established that any kind of workout is good for your overall health, and especially for your heart. But if you’re looking for the best exercise to get your ticker working at its peak, then get yourself into a HIIT program STAT!

No matter your age, fitness level or time availability, HIIT (high-intensity interval training) can fit into your life. These quick workouts are a combination of short bouts of intense exercise broken up by rest periods or slower activity as recovery time.

And the great thing is that working out in these intervals gives you the same benefits of moderate exercise but in a fraction of the time.

Cardiovascular and aerobic exercise raise the heart rate, and over time with this kind of training the heart becomes more efficient at doing its job and can pump more blood with less effort. So just like your body becomes fitter with exercise, so does your heart.

This types of cardiovascular training puts more demand on your circulatory system, which trains it to work more efficiently in its day-to-day operations. In moderate exercise, you’re usually aiming for about 70% to 80% of your maximum heart rate, but in HIIT you’re pushing to reach about 85% to 95% for shorter bursts of time. So you’re putting in way more effort, but you’ll be done your workout faster.

If you suffer from any kind of heart issues, interval training can be beneficial for you too, it just might not look the same. Talk to your doctor to make sure that you can start trying this type of training, and start slowly. You can start incorporating some intervals into your daily activities and work your way up. Studies have shown that patients with wide ranges of complications with their heart have been able to do interval training and have seen improvements in their cardiovascular health.