High-Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT mixes short burst of high-intensity cardio with longer periods of lower-intensity work, or even rest. Amazingly, working at high-intensity in short bursts has a huge range of benefits. Learn more about 10 of these amazing benefits with this handy guide.
In this busy world, having a workout routine that burns more fat in less time is pure gold. And that’s exactly what HIIT gives us.
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) combines short bursts of high-intensity cardio with periods of less intense activity, or even rest. This workout depends on getting your heart rate up to fat burning levels.
But why should someone consider adopting a HIIT routine? What are the benefits associated with it?
Let’s look at 10 amazing reasons you should get onboard the HIIT train. The benefits will speak for themselves.
1. You Burn More Fat and Calories
Like the idea of losing weight while you sleep? Yeah, everyone can agree on that. But it’s an idea that HIIT can make into reality.
High-intensity workouts cause your body’s repair cycles to go into hyperdrive. This means that your body will go on burning fat and calories for 24 hours after your workout. Something steady pace routines can’t provide.
Not only that, you burn 25 – 30% more calories than with other types of workouts. And you’re burning those calories in a workout that takes a fraction of the time.
2. Increases Your Metabolism
During high-intensity workouts, your oxygen intake goes up. More than it would with non-interval training.
This excess in oxygen helps to increase your metabolism rate from 90 minutes after a session to 144 minutes. This nearly 60-minute increase in metabolism will burn more calories at a faster rate.
In addition to that, HIIT also stimulates the production of HGH (human growth hormone) up to 450 percent for 24 hours after your workout! HGH also increases the number of calories burned and slows down the aging process.
This makes you younger on both the inside and out!
3. No Equipment Needed
Since getting your heart rate up is the main focus of any HIIT workout, no equipment is necessary. All you have to do is MOVE!
Most workouts use equipment because you’re targeting a certain muscle group or a particular part of the body. HIIT’s only target is to get your heart-a-pumpin’! So a little open space and your own body weight are all you need.
Some of these moves can include jumping jacks, high knees, fast feet, or anything plyometric. And they’re not only moves that save you money on pricey equipment, you can take them anywhere with you.
4. You Can Mix Up Your Workouts
One reason many people give up exercise is the lack of variety. Doing the same things over and over drains motivation fast.
But with HIIT, you can change up the routine any way you want. You’re not stuck with only running or biking. Instead, you can pick any cardio workout you’re in the mood for and make it into a custom interval workout that works for you.
And feel like doing something different tomorrow? No problem. You’re never locked into a boring, repetitive program again.
5. Keep Your Muscle, Lose the Fat
Usually, with cardio routines, you tend to lose muscle mass. There are no weights involved to help keep those muscles put.
But since you’re using the weight of your own body, along with the cardio, you not only lose the fat but you keep the muscle mass right where it belongs!
And if you weren’t very active before starting HIIT, you may actually gain some muscle.
6. Makes Your Heart Happy
To build a healthy heart and increase effective blood flow, you need to push yourself to the anaerobic zone. This is the zone where you become out of breath and feel your heart pounding in your chest.
But most people have trouble getting themselves to that point because, well, it’s seriously uncomfortable.
HIIT makes it easier to push yourself to that level. With interval training, you get periods of rest in-between periods of being “in the zone”. So instead of long periods of feeling as if you’re about to die, you rest and get back at it again.
You’re happy and your heart is happy. Win-win.
7. You Can Workout Anytime Anywhere
HIIT is not only flexible when it comes to the kinds of routines you can do, it lets you workout wherever you want.
Some people prefer working out in gyms. There’s something about the environment, people, and mojo that gets their exercise juices flowing! An HIIT fitness gym is the perfect setting for that.
While others either like to workout at home, outdoors, or on the road while traveling. Since you don’t have to lug around equipment, you can bring your workout anywhere and adapt it to any space you desire.
8. Builds Endurance
HIIT affects you at the cellular level – in the best way possible!
By adapting to the cellular structure of your muscles, high-intensity training increases your endurance while you do any type of workout you want.
In a study conducted by the Journal of Physiology, they found that people who used HIIT for eight weeks doubled the time they could ride a bike, all while going at the same pace.
9. Effective Use of Energy
By alternating between periods of intense workout to periods of rest, your body will learn how to use the energy that comes from its very own energy system efficiently.
This will help your body remove toxic waste from your muscles during any resting periods. Plus, it helps you learn to breathe more effectively as well.
10. It Will Be a Challenge
Whether you’re just starting out or rocking an advanced routine, you’re sure to find HIIT a challenge. That’s because no matter what, you are constantly pushing yourself out of your comfort zone.
Since the ultimate goal is to increase your heart rate, you set the limit of your own workout. You’re not limited to what you’re told to do. It’s a challenge that never becomes boring.
HIIT Is High-Intensity Cardio at Its Finest
As you can see, HIIT has a huge range of health and lifestyle benefits. With the fast results you’ll see from this workout, high-intensity cardio will quickly become your new best friend.
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