Benefits of HIIT Workouts
December 22, 2021
We all know that exercise is an important part of having a healthy body and life.
It’s good for mental health, physical health, immune system function, disease prevention, and achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. But it’s not easy for so many of us to implement. Common complaints include not knowing what to do, not having a gym membership, not having enough time, and being bored by workouts. This article serves to give you a new idea for workouts in a convenient, quick package.
HIIT, or high-intensity interval training, is a workout regime that has been growing in popularity in recent years. HIIT workouts are short and intense, and they offer a number of health benefits that regular workouts do not. These are perfect for people who just don’t have an hour a day to devote to exercise.
4 Benefits of HIIT:
- Burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time. One study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research compared 30 minutes of HIIT, weight training, running, and biking, found HIIT burned 25-30% more calories than the other workouts.
- HIIT workouts also contribute to a higher metabolic rate for hours after the workout is complete – meaning you continue to burn calories long after you’re done! Some studies have also found that HIIT training shifts the body’s metabolism to burn more fat than carbs.
- HIIT workouts have been found to improve cardiovascular disease risk, hypertension, and even blood sugar regulation. All of these benefits AND the workouts are shorter!
- HIIT workouts have been found to strengthen memory and improve cognitive abilities by researchers at MIT.
How to Implement HIIT:
- Ten 1 minute vigorous-intensity efforts separated by 1-minute rest cycles
- Three 20 second intervals at an all-out pace separated by 2 minutes of rest or low-intensity movement
- Repeating cycles of 45 seconds of intense activity with 15 seconds of rest
- Repeating cycles of 10 second – 4 minute moderate to intense activity followed by 10 second – 4 minute rest cycles.
Always include a warm-up and cool-down period at the beginning and end of the workout. HIIT workouts can even be broken down into small bursts throughout the day.
Does interval training require fancy equipment?
No! You can do intervals with fast-paced walking, jogging, swimming, squats, lunges, pushups, jumping jacks, or even with weights and resistance bands. Any workout style can be adapted – simply increase the intensity of whatever workout you’re doing for the specified interval. You can use a treadmill, bicycle, hill, stairs, weight machine or dumbbells. This is yet another beauty of HIIT training – it’s modifiable to your fitness level, your location, the length of time you have available, and the exercises you enjoy.
Should I do HIIT training every day?
Not necessarily. Because this type of training is more intense, you don’t need to do it daily, but just a few times a week can be sufficient. Of course, it’s best to get some activity in daily, so add in walking, dancing, gardening, or other physical activity on alternate days.