If you aren’t already incorporating high intensity interval training (HIIT) into your regular workout routine, you just might want to consider adding it in.
Doing HIIT workouts can provide a variety of different benefits for your body, both physically (in terms of lean muscle) and with your health overall (cardiovascular).
If you’re not familiar with high intensity interval training, you might be wondering what exactly it is. Well, performing a HIIT workout will feature short bursts of intense exercise, which is alternated with recovery periods done at a lower intensity. You can expect HIIT workouts to range anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes because it’s focused on shorter workouts with higher results.
When doing a HIIT workout, you’ll be completing a variety of moves that can range from jogging and sprinting, push-ups, squats, all the way to burpees. All of those workouts can be done at home, but if you’re hitting the gym, you can also make HIIT work for you with the treadmill, a bicycle, or the stair master.
So, what about the benefits of high intensity interval training? We’re sharing a few that will leave you wanting to hit the gym ASAP! Keep reading to learn more...
1. You’ll Burn More Calories in a Short Amount of Time
One of the main benefits that a HIIT workout can provide is that you’re able to burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time. The key to doing this is efficiency. That’s where HIIT comes in and saves the day.
In one study, researchers evaluated the amount of calories burned during 30 minutes each of HIIT, weight training, running, and biking. Which one came out on top? Well, it was found that the HIIT workout burned 25-30% more calories than the other forms of exercise did in the same amount of time.
2. You’ll Keep Burning Those Calories for Hours
Another one of the benefits of high intensity interval training is that you’re going to keep burning those calories for hours to come. Yes, that means you’ll be burning calories even after your workout has finished.
When compared to aerobic endurance exercise and high intensity resistance training, HIIT produced a greater resting energy expenditure. The same study that found those results also revealed that a HIIT workout increases your metabolism after exercise more than jogging and weight training would.
What's more is that performing a high intensity interval training workout can encourage your body’s metabolism to use fat for energy instead of carbs, which is great for those who want to lose weight.
3. It May Help Reduce Blood Pressure
Besides helping you burn calories and lose weight, doing a HIIT workout can provide you with other health benefits too. In fact, it’s been shown that these workouts can reduce heart rate and blood pressure in those who are overweight or obese and typically have high blood pressure.
One study followed a set of participants with an endurance training group that exercised four days per week for 30 minutes each day and a HIIT group that exercised three times per week for just 20 minutes a day. All participants were adults who had high blood pressure. After observing these groups for eight weeks, doing HIIT workouts on a stationary bike decreased blood pressure as much as the endurance training. However, those doing the HIIT workouts exercised less overall with the same results.
4. You Can Lower Your Blood Sugar
For those at risk for type 2 diabetes, HIIT workouts could be helpful. The reason for this is because in studies it’s been found to reduce blood sugar, as well as improve insulin resistance better than traditional continuous forms of exercise. It can even help with insulin resistance for those who are otherwise healthy.
5. It Can Increase Your Focus
If you're one of those people that hits a mid-day slump around 2 or 3pm, HIIT might be the magic bullet you're looking for. Exercise, especially in the form of quick bursts, increases adrenaline, serotonin and dopamine. These important brain chemicals all help increase focus and energy to help you feel your best even when you're not working out.
6. There Are Many Forms of HIIT
Is there anything worse than getting totally bored with your workout? Probably not! When you get into that mode, it’s hard to motivate yourself to get to the gym and then you start slacking on the regular exercise. One of the great benefits of high intensity interval training is that it takes on many forms. That means you can customize it to your liking and do the things that you really enjoy. HIIT workouts can involve alternating walking or jogging with sprinting, doing burpees, jump squats, and mountain climbers.