In an increasingly digital world, sedentary lifestyles are becoming more and more commonplace, and obesity and heart disease becoming more statistically shocking.
Exercise, on the other hand, is frequently being perceived as a luxury, as busy lives and careers place multiple constraints on time.
HIIT interval training may provide the solution.
HIIT, which stands for High Intensity Interval Training, is believed to deliver optimal benefits in a shorter amount of time.
The fitness strategy, which is hallmarked by brief bursts of intense cardio exercise punctuated by short, sweet recovery periods, can produce similar benefits to more moderately-paced exercises in half the time.
The nice thing about HIIT interval training is its adaptability: body weight exercises, burpees, cycling, sprints, and more can all fit the HIIT mold. As long as it gets your heart pumping, it counts.
Here are just four of the many amazing benefits HIIT interval training can deliver:
- It burns calories faster. Because HIIT involves brief blazes of maximum effort, your heart rate remains elevated, allowing you to burn the same number of calories as traditional workouts in a fraction of the time.
- It boosts metabolism. Also known as the “afterburn” effect, the rigorous nature of HIIT training causes your body to kick its healing process into high gear. Excessive Post Oxygen Consumption – or EPOC – refers to the body’s efforts to replenish its fuel reserves, repair muscle and tissue, and replace the oxygen that was just used. This process allows you to continue burning calories for hours after you’re finished exercising.
- It helps your heart beat better. HIIT gives your blood vessels a vigorous workout and has a restorative effect on your arteries and veins, increasing their elasticity more than aerobics. In fact, HIIT participants have demonstrated improved cardiac stroke volumes, which sounds bad – but actually refers to the amount of blood pumped by the heart, per beat.
- It slows the effects of aging. A 2017 study published in the scientific journal Cell Metabolism revealed that HIIT had actually reversed the age-related deterioration of muscle cells in a study group of individuals above the age of 65. These findings suggest that HIIT is not only beneficial for the younger crowd, but are also amazing for seniors, as well.
- But that’s not all… HIIT can also help to lower your blood sugar levels, improve insulin resistance, and dramatically reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes. And did we mention it is believed to reduce fat, while preserving muscle mass?
Given the high-octane nature of HIIT, however, there are risks inherent with overtraining. Pushing your body to its limit is not advisable every single day of the week. It’s a good idea to consult with your healthcare provider prior to starting a HIIT program. The good news is that these exercises have been deemed safe for individuals with medical conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.
The key is to strike a balance between the pedal-to-the-metal prizes of HIIT, and the dogged determination of a standard fitness plan. The certified trainers at Fitness Together Ellicott City can help to determine the most effective course of action for you.