The Top 5 Health Benefits of High Intensity Interval Training
High intensity interval training (HIIT), which involves short bursts of activity followed by brief rest periods, has surged in popularity over the last few years. Although HIIT workouts can be daunting, they offer amazing benefits. Here are the top five health perks of HIIT.
What Is High Intensity Interval Training?
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is an exercise program characterized by alternating periods of short intense anaerobic exercise with less-intense recovery periods. HIIT is typically performed in effort bursts of 30 seconds to several minutes, with the ratio of work to rest periods typically 1:1 to 1:2. Other HIIT formats include crank-style intervals and Tabata training. HIIT typically takes less time to complete than steady-state aerobic workout, burns more calories in the same amount of time, and can improve cardiovascular fitness and fat loss.
How Long Should A HIIT Interval Be?
The length of a HIIT interval depends on a variety of factors, including fitness level, intensity of exercise, workout duration, and personal fitness goals. Generally, HIIT intervals can range anywhere from 10 seconds to 4 minutes in length. On average, most HIIT workouts involve short, intense bursts of exercise (15 to 45 seconds) followed by longer, moderate-intensity activity (2 minutes). Shorter intervals, such as 10 seconds, are most common with Tabata and other types of HIIT-style workouts.
5 Health Benefits of High Intensity Interval Training
Increased Weight Loss
HIIT workouts can be incredibly effective at helping you lose weight. This is because they result in a greater energy expenditure than regular aerobic exercise. Research has found that HIIT may cause excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) or “afterburn” effect, meaning your body will continue burning calories long after you’ve finished your workout. Additionally, HIIT can maximize fat burning in a shorter amount of time compared to traditional exercise.
Improved Cardiorespiratory Fitness
HIIT workouts are well-known for their efficiency in improving cardiorespiratory fitness. By pushing your body to its max during brief, intense bursts followed by rest intervals and repeating this cycle several times, you can improve your aerobic fitness levels without the oxygen cost associated with moderate intensity exercises. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, shorter HIIT sessions can simulate the benefits of longer, more traditional workouts.
Reduced Risk of Disease
Study results show that HIIT can improve your overall health and reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes. One study found that only 30 minutes of HIIT per day improved insulin sensitivity in obese adults over a period of 15 days. Another study that included 150 adults with hypertension found that HIIT significantly decreased blood pressure and improved risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
HIIT workouts can rev up your metabolism and boost your body’s fat burning ability. This is because HIIT workouts put your body into overdrive and use more energy – at a much faster rate – compared to traditional exercise. Additionally, HIIT can improve your body’s natural production of human growth hormone (HGH) which helps improve your metabolism.
Enhanced Mental Health
HIIT provides great mental health benefits. Research has found that HIIT is effective in reducing symptoms of anxiety, depression and stress. HIIT also can help improve cognitive ability and focus – and it’s a great way to relieve boredom, because each session is different.
Although HIIT workouts can be intimidating, they offer powerful health benefits. From increased weight loss to a boost in metabolism and enhanced mental health, HIIT packs a serious punch. Plus, these workouts are time-efficient, allowing you to exercise for a shorter period of time and reap large rewards.