HIIT Workouts

5 Health Benefits of HIIT workouts

If you’re into exercise, you may already be well familiar with the benefits of high intensity interval training, otherwise known as HIIT. HIIT workouts are becoming an increasingly popular form of exercise, allowing people to get an effective, calorie burning workout in a shorter period of time. Whilst working out for less sounds great for many, HIIT workouts are tough, but their many health benefits could be enough of a reason to give them a go.

 

What is high intensity interval training (HIIT)?

HIIT workouts involve exercising at maximum effort for a quick burst of time, followed by a period of recovery. Exercising in this way keeps your heart rate up, which is great for burning fat in a shorter period of time. Typical HIIT workouts last 20-30 minutes and can consist of a circuit of exercises which will target different areas of the body.

 

Benefits of HITT workouts

They’re great for burning calories both during exercise and after you’ve finished

Because HIIT workouts involve training at an increased intensity, your body has to work harder, which burns more calories. Your body will also need more help to recover. As you exercise, your post oxygen consumption (EPOC) is increased, meaning you will continue to burn calories for around two hours after you exercise. This is why many people who practice HIIT training will aim to have their next meal within this time as a way of losing weight.

It’s easier to stick to

For the average person, the thought of going to the gym for an hour brings a sense of dread – and many people are unwilling to give up their time or their money to exercise in this way. Working out for just 20 minutes however is far more appealing, and HIIT workouts can be done with no equipment, making them a great option for those who want to exercise at home or who are short on time. Typical HIIT exercises include burpees, sit ups, running on the spot and boxing moves, all of which can be done with no equipment and a small amount of space, meaning there’s no excuse not to give it a try.

It’s good for your heart health

HIIT exercises work your aerobic muscles, making them more flexible and creating a stronger, healthier heart. This is because HIIT exercises are more challenging and put pressure on the body, but are a safe way to strengthen your heart. If you haven’t exercised in a while, it’s important to start off slowly and increase your stamina to manage a HIIT workout, and there are plenty of great ideas for beginners online too.

It can boost your endurance

Many people have seen their athletic performance improve by adding HIIT workouts into their training regime. Because your muscles have to adapt to the intense training, they become better able to endure other types of exercise. Mixing up your routine with some HIIT workouts will improve your ability to run, cycle or swim for longer which is great if you have a marathon or other big challenge on the horizon.

It burns fat, not muscle

When your training routine features a lot of cardio, you can lose muscle. Runners for example are typically lean, without being particularly muscular. If more muscle is your goal but you also want to boost cardiovascular health, then HIIT workouts are a good solution. Not only do certain exercises involved in HIIT training help to tone your muscles by using your own body as a form of weight, but the shorter, sharper bursts of cardio won’t lead to muscle loss. HIIT workouts therefore are great to add into your existing weight exercise regime.

HIIT workouts have been shown to have a number of health benefits, including being beneficial for those with Type 2 diabetes. If working out for shorter, more intense periods of time will motivate you to exercise, then this is a better solution than not exercising at all. You’ll find some great ideas for HIIT workouts through videos online, and once you learn about the exercises which can be used as part of a HIIT routine, you can set out to create your own workouts simply using a timer and a pair of trainers. Give it a try and see how a HIIT workout benefits your health.