Despite the widely known benefits of physical activity, around 20% of the global population doesn’t get enough of it. Most people tend to start training for a job that physically demands them to be active. But, if you don’t have time to exercise, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) might be just the ticket.
High-intensity interval training is a type of exercise that consists of short periods of intense exercise. It can provide you with the most beneficial health benefits in a minimal time period. High-intensity interval training combines short bursts of intense activity with low-intensity recovery periods.
A HIIT workout typically consists of 10 to 30 minutes of intense exercise. It can provide similar health benefits to moderate-intensity exercise.
Although the exact type of exercise that’s being performed varies, it usually involves running, jumping rope, or cycling. A typical HIIT rep can last for around 30 seconds.
You would typically complete 4 to 6 reps in one session. The exact amount of time you should spend working and recovering varies depending on your activity and level of exertion.
Why might HIIT be right for you?
1. HIIT Burns a Lot of Calories, Fast
A study revealed that after 30 minutes of HIIT, participants burned around 30% more calories than those who performed other forms of exercise. The study participants only completed 20 seconds of maximal effort before going back to rest.
Since a HIIT session lasts about 30 minutes, it’s commonly shorter than a standard exercise session.
2. HIIT Increases Your Metabolism
Aside from burning calories, HIIT can also help boost your metabolism by increasing it for up to 24 hours after completing a regular exercise session.
Some studies also suggest that HIIT can improve your metabolism and shift it toward using fat instead of carbohydrate metabolism. The intensity of the exercise can also affect your metabolism. It can increase it for up to 24 hours after completing a regular exercise session.
3. HIIT Burns Fat
A review conducted on 13 experiments revealed that performing a HIIT session can help people lose fat. It also reduces body fat and waist circumference. Various studies also suggest that high-intensity interval training can help people with weight loss. In fact, it’s considered the most effective form of exercise for people with overweight or obese bodies.
4. HIIT Will Make You Stronger
Aside from the fat loss, HIIT is also known to increase muscle mass in certain individuals. This could be due to using certain muscles such as the legs and trunk.
Also, research has found that people who are not active tend to increase their muscle mass after performing a HIIT program. Although weight training is the gold standard for increasing muscle mass, high-intensity interval training can also help boost it.
5. Increase Oxygen Intake
Endurance training is a type of exercise that involves continuous running or riding a stationary bicycle at a steady rate. Although it’s known that HIIT can improve your oxygen consumption, it has been shown that it can also be done in a shorter amount of time. One study revealed that participants who did 20 minutes of HIIT weekly for five weeks had a 9% boost in oxygen consumption.
6. Improve Blood Pressure and Heart Rate
Aside from improving your body’s composition, HIIT has been shown to reduce blood pressure and heart rate in people with high blood pressure.
A study conducted on 30 individuals revealed that doing 30 minutes of HIIT every day was linked to a 19% drop in blood pressure. The same group also performed 20 minutes of HIIT every day. It has also been shown that high-intensity exercise does not affect blood pressure in people with normal blood pressure.
Getting started with high-intensity intervals can be as simple as choosing one or multiple activities that require a certain amount of time. You can also experiment with different intensities and durations of exercise to see how long it will improve your recovery. You’ll be off and running in no time!