Benefits of HIIT and Why It's a Good Option for You
Listen, we all get it… you’re busy. You have a job, you have kids, you have pets, you have errands that need to be completed, a house that needs to be cleaned, dirty dishes, dirty laundry, a relationship, family events, ETC.
So how can we consistently find the time to get into the gym and kill an intense workout that provides us with the health benefits that our body’s require? A lot of people become victim to the thought that every workout must be at least 1-2hrs, and this is simply not the case. Don’t get me wrong, if you have the time to dedicate to the gym and can get in there for 1hr of weight training and a solid cardio session then by all means do it. But we know that sometimes life gets in the way and we need to abbreviate our workouts, make them short, sweet and to the point. That’s where HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) might be the best option for you.
There is ample research on HIIT and why it is effective for us. HIIT involves short bursts of intense exercise alternated with low-intensity recovery periods. The specific amount of time you exercise and recover will vary based on the activity you choose and how intensely you are exercising.
Here are 7 benefits of HIIT:
- HIIT may help you burn more calories than traditional exercise, or burn the same amount of calories in a shorter amount of time.
- Due to the intensity of the workout, HIIT can elevate your metabolism for hours after exercise. This results in additional calories being burned even after you have finished exercising.
- High-intensity intervals can produce similar fat loss to traditional endurance exercise, even with a much smaller time commitment. They can also reduce unhealthy visceral fat.
- If you are not very active, you may gain some muscle by starting HIIT but not as much as if you performed weight training.
- High-intensity interval training can improve oxygen consumption as much as traditional endurance training, even if you only exercise about half as long.
- HIIT can reduce blood pressure and heart rate, primarily in overweight or obese individuals with high blood pressure.
- High-intensity interval training may be especially beneficial for those needing to reduce blood sugar and insulin resistance. These improvements have been seen in both healthy and diabetic individuals.
Here are a few examples of HIIT routines:
- You’ll start by performing a 15 second sprint. From there, drop down and do 10 pushups, followed by 10 squats. Rest for 30 seconds to 1 minute, and then repeat. This is relatively simple to do, but not easy by any means. Perform ~10 rounds as fast as possible.
Bottom line, if you are short on time and want to get the most bang for your buck, HIIT is a very efficient way to exercise and achieve the most out of the least amount of time.