Most people understand the importance of physical exercise, but only a few get enough. If you have a very demanding career, it is not easy to stay committed to an optimal fitness routine. Like every other person out there, you will be giving such excuses as, “I don’t have enough time to go to the gym,” or “I get bored easily with routine workouts.” If this is what you have been feeling lately, it is high time you try HIIT or High-Intensity Interval Training.
HIIT is a collective term for intense exercises completed in short bursts and alternated with low-intensity exercises as a form of recovery. The most crucial benefit of HIIT is that it offers optimal benefits within the least time possible.
Ideally, a HIIT workout lasts between ten to thirty minutes. While this may seem like a short duration, the effectiveness of HIIT is twice as much as that of moderate-intensity workouts. Some of the most common exercises for HIIT include jump ropes, mountain climbing, biking, lunges, squats, sprinting, and push-ups, among other types of full-body workouts.
A HIIT workout can include cycling a stationary bike for half a minute in the fastest speed possible with high resistance followed by a few minutes of slow but easy cycles in low resistance. The two will make up for a single round or rep like you would complete one rep in a normal gym workout.
Reasons You Should Be Doing HIIT
Here, we shall look at the top five benefits of High-Intensity Training.
Efficient Burning of Calories
The biggest selling point of HIIT is that it caters to people who want to lose weight but don’t have enough time to hit the gym. For instance, 30 seconds of high-intensity running alternated with 40 seconds of a break. By combining an active period with a rest period, you burn a higher amount of calories in less time than you would normally. This improves your cardiorespiratory fitness in almost half the time. This way, your body can supply oxygenated blood to the muscles faster. Keep in mind that for every liter of oxygen consumed, the body burns 5 calories. Generally, HIIT exercises increase the demand for oxygen hence increasing the caloric expenditure during and after the reps.
Maintaining a Metabolic Rate Even After Workouts
Short, intense reps demand a huge amount of oxygen during the activity and even afterward. Burning calories hours after exercising is one of the best things that can happen to you. The impressive ability of HIIT to maintain a high rate of metabolism throughout the day is a huge plus. This allows the body to start using up fat for energy instead of carbs. Ultimately, you burn more calories throughout the day.
There is a significant amount of metabolic waste that is produced during HIIT, including lactic acid and hydrogen ions. During an active recovery period, these waste products are eliminated to allow the active muscles to continue with the next bout of high intensity. Overtime, HIIT trains your body to endure and recover faster from intense activities. Other physiological activities that HIIT contributes to are enhanced oxidative capacity, improved mitochondrial density, increased aerobic efficiency, high stroke volume.
Endurance refers to the highest amount of oxygen your muscles can utilize during an exercise. This is a good indicator of your overall health. With HIIT, you will see significant improvements in the maximum oxygen uptake compared to other types of exercises. Ideally, endurance training boosts the consumption of oxygen in the body. Think of continuous sessions of cycling or running at a steady pace. Similarly, HIIT produces the same effects but in a very short period. So, you not only increase your oxygen uptake abut also do it in half of the time you would with typical workouts.
Improved Heart Health
Not so many people can push themselves into the aerobic zone. Normally, you reach a point where you feel like you are running short of breath and could possibly faint. But when you get accustomed to extreme exercises, you may start exercising twice as much as you were doing before. Interval training is associated with improved heart health, while less intense workouts done on shorter periods have the least benefits for your cardiovascular system. With improved heart health, you have a lower risk of developing, say heart disease or stroke.
HIIT Can Be Customized to Your Needs
If you are looking for a flexible and convenient workout regime, then HIIT is the best way to go. It may seem a little intimidating, especially if you just started out. There is a wrong notion that HIIT is only for hardcore gym-goers. However, HIIT is something you can tailor to your specific needs without interfering with your regular schedule. Simply select a set of exercises that you are comfortable with depending on your fitness level. It is a very approachable program for any level of fitness. The main idea is to get the heart pumping, and this happens in different ways to different people. If you want to know whether the interval is intense enough, simply measure your heart rate. If it is not spiked, then you need to shift to more vigorous activity. It may be uncomfortable at first, but that would be a good sign that your body is pushing on. You can use a heart rate monitoring gadget to know when to take rest or push yourself harder.
There are countless benefits of doing HIIT exercises from fat burning to cardiovascular fitness. By adding this type of training to your regular routine, the rewards you can reap are immense. Moreover, you have the flexibility and convenience to see outcomes and remain motivated within the shortest time. Not to mention, anyone can do it because there is no need for gym equipment.