Everyone’s always looking for the next best workout. People live busy lives and want to know how to get maximum results with minimum time commitments. That’s where high intensity interval training (or HIIT) comes in.
HIIT is essentially exercising at a high intensity for short bursts, followed by a short resting exercise. The resting exercise is usually an activity that is less intense or involves different, lighter movements. A simple HIIT workout on a treadmill could be sprinting as fast as you can for 30 seconds, followed by a slow jog or fast walk for 60 seconds, and repeating the cycle for 15-30 minutes depending on your endurance level and desired results.
The benefits of HIIT are overwhelming and a great reason to give it a try during your next workout.
The short bursts of vigorous exercise done in HIIT allow you to burn more calories than you would with steady cardio. It lengthens your exercise post oxygen consumption (EPOC), which means that you will continue burning more calories after a HIIT.
Another benefit of the calories burned during HIIT is the fact that this type of exercise encourages weight loss from fat and builds muscle during the process. Steady cardio (for example, running on the treadmill for 60 minutes), on the other hand, can lead to muscle loss over time.
Continually adding HIIT exercises to your workout regimen will strengthen and build your endurance. Over time, you’ll be able to exercise longer with higher intensity because interval training increases how much oxygen your lungs are able to consume.
It boosts your V02 Max (oxidative capacity), which is the rate that your muscles can pull oxygen out of your bloodstream to be used. This leads to increased oxygen efficiency used by your body.
One of the most appealing benefits of interval training is the fact that you can get better results in shorter periods of time. In fact, 10 minutes of HIIT can give you more visible results than 30 minutes of steady cardio.
Interval training does more than give you a great endurance workout; it also acts as a workout for your veins and arteries. During the course of HIIT, the flexibility and elasticity of your blood vessels are being exercised more than any aerobic activity. Over time, this will lead to lower blood pressure, decrease in heart disease and a reduction in your chance of heart attacks or strokes.
A higher metabolism equals fewer calories stored as fat, which is crucial for weight loss efforts. Interval training increases your metabolism and your caloric burn. It can even lower a person’s sensitivity to insulin by allowing the body to process glucose more efficiently.
Interval training is more fun than steady cardio. Since the intervals are short and the activities are always dynamic and changing, you won’t have much time to get bored.
Since you can do most interval training exercises with little to no equipment, there’s no excuse! You can perform these exercises while traveling, in your home as a replacement for a gym membership or outside on a beautiful day. No gym, no problem!