7 Exhilarating Benefits of HIIT
that will jumpstart your fitness journey
By MICHAL GEORGE
HIIT vs. Traditional Training
High-Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT, involves short periods of intense exercise followed by short, low-intensity recovery periods. A good example of HIIT is sprinting. Sprint/run as fast as you can for 30 seconds (work period) and then rest or slowly walk for 30 seconds (recovery period). That’s one rep. An effective HIIT workout ranges from 10 to 30 minutes with 4 to 6 repetitions(reps) in total.
For the non-runners out there, HIIT workouts come in various other formats. Examples are cycling, skipping, or any bodyweight exercise. Because of the intensity of HIIT training, it’s usually done without weights.
The focus of HIIT workouts is to get your heart rate up into the anaerobic heart rate zone. HIIT training delivers maximum benefits for your health in minimal time, so it’s a great option for people on the go.
Traditional training includes a workout which usually lasts around 45 minutes to an hour, making a traditional exercise routine almost twice as long as a standard HIIT session. Traditional training can become boring for people who already hate exercise. This is where HIIT comes in handy.
If you’re still not sold on the idea of HIIT training, we’ve listed 7 of the most significant benefits of HIIT training.
1. HIIT Burns More Calories in a Shorter Session
With a regular training session, your aim is sustainability. Therefore you will be staying in your aerobic heart rate zone, and only occasionally will you push yourself into your anaerobic heart rate zone. With HIIT training, you are spending more time in the anaerobic heart rate zone, which means you are burning more calories, faster.
A study has compared HIIT workouts with other types of workouts such as weight training, biking, and running, and sure enough, HIIT easily beat the rest. HIIT sessions burned 25-30% more calories than the other forms of exercise.
So if you can find 10 minutes of your day, you can easily fit in a quick HIIT workout which will benefit your the rest of the day and night.
2. Higher Metabolic Rate Hours After your HIIT Session
The benefits of a HIIT workout actually comes after the workout itself. HIIT increases your metabolic rate which will benefit you several hours after your session. With HIIT, your metabolism uses the fat in your body for energy rather than carbs. But be careful, that doesn’t mean you can finish a whole bag of chips without throwing away the HIIT workout’s benefits!
BONUS BENEFIT: Because HIIT uses fat instead of carbs for energy, it means you can turn your body into a fat burning furnace!
3. HIIT Improves Oxygen Consumption
What is oxygen consumption?
It’s the ability of your muscles to use oxygen. The fitter you are, the better your oxygen consumption is.
People used to think that oxygen consumption only improves with endurance training like running or cycling, but it has been shown that HIIT sessions can also improve your oxygen consumption, but in a much shorter time span.
4. Tone up to Show Muscle
As we discussed, HIIT increases fat loss and will help tone your body. As a result, your body will show the muscles which were hidden away under the fat.
If you’re looking to bulk up, HIIT is not the ideal workout for you. If you want to get ripped you might want to consider starting with weight training. HIIT will not bulk you up but will tone your body.
5. HIIT can Reduce Blood Sugar
High blood sugar is quite a common problem in unhealthy individuals. If it’s left unchecked, it can lead to diabetes, heart disease, and many more serious illnesses. With HIIT training, blood sugar levels can be reduced and it can also improve your body’s insulin resistance.
6. Can be Done Anywhere, Anytime
HIIT can be done without exercise equipment and this makes it the perfect workout for people constantly on the move or without time to drive to the gym. All you need is your body and a safe, open space.
7. It Challenges You
You will never get bored with a HIIT workout in your exercise regime. There are so many exercise options for you to make your HIIT workout fun and challenging. If you constantly challenge your body, results will show faster than with traditional exercise. HIIT classes at moveOn 89 are never the same. Each session has new and varied stations to challenge you and keep things fun and interesting.
The Bottom Line
HIIT has many health benefits for anyone interested in trying it out. Adding short periods of exercise to your daily schedule can improve your health immensely in the long run. As with all intensive exercise, you should first speak with your GP before adding any HIIT sessions to your workouts.
If you’re interested in the challenges of HIIT, join us for one of our high-intensity 30-minute classes. If you think HIIT isn’t quite for you, we also have Pilates and Yoga! Come find your passion for a healthy, fitter mind and body!