With so many different types of exercise out there, how can you choose which one will work the best for your body and health? One great option is high intensity interval training (HIIT), as it requires short periods of time and provides many benefits.
What is HIIT?
HIIT is a term that refers to a variety of workouts that involve short periods of intense exercise, alternated with short periods of recovery. HIIT is a great way to fit the exercise your body needs into a busy daily schedule. A typical HIIT workout will last between 20-30 minutes long, and includes repeated rounds of short bursts of intense exercise, followed by short periods of rest.
For example, a HIIT workout could be done on a stationary bike, in which you go as fast as you possibly can for 30 seconds then rest for 20 seconds, and repeat 4-6 times. Other popular forms of exercise you can do in a HIIT format include sprinting, biking, weight exercises, and even simple floor exercises you can do at home with no equipment needed. No matter which exercise you choose to do, HIIT workouts can provide you with a number of health benefits.
1. Burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time
Studies have shown that HIIT workouts are a great way to burn calories in a short amount of time. In fact, research has demonstrated that although HIIT workouts do not tend to be very long, the small bursts of high intensity can sometimes be more effective than traditional workouts for burning calories. You may not always burn more calories, but you will at least be burning some, all without having to take a lot of time out of your day, which makes HIIT workouts a great option for some.
2. Reduces heart rate and blood pressure
Not only has HIIT been shown to help in burning calories and fat loss, but there are a number of other health benefits associated with it. For example, there is a lot of research to support the fact that HIIT can reduce both heart rate and blood pressure in overweight and obese individuals. Some of these studies have even suggested that HIIT workouts can more effectively reduce blood
pressure than low intensity exercises commonly recommended. However, it is always important to remember when exercising that being comfortable is more important than achieving the suggested benefits, and these beneficial effects are not guaranteed for every person.
3. Increases your metabolic rate, even after exercise
One of the reasons that HIIT workouts can be so great for burning calories is that completing a HIIT workout can increase your metabolic rate for hours even after you have finished exercising. Some research has shown that HIIT workouts help to promote your metabolism to use fat for energy rather than carbs, which may contribute to fat loss.
4. Gain muscle
In some individuals, engaging in HIIT workouts has also led to an increased muscle mass. This muscle gain is primarily observed in the particular muscles that are used the most in the chosen workouts, and may vary depending on what form of HIIT is chosen.
Although weight training is the most recommended and effective method to gain muscle, HIIT has shown potential to help people gain some muscle as well.