When it comes to exercise, there are countless options available to us. From traditional steady-state cardio to weightlifting and yoga, the choices can be overwhelming. However, one type of training that has gained popularity in recent years is high-intensity interval training (HIIT). HIIT is a form of exercise that alternates periods of high-intensity activity with periods of rest or low-intensity activity.
Increased Cardiovascular Fitness
One of the main benefits of HIIT is its ability to improve cardiovascular fitness. According to a study published in the Journal of Obesity, HIIT can increase cardiovascular fitness by up to 24% in just 2-3 weeks (Gibala, et al., 2006). This is because HIIT requires the body to work at near-maximum effort, which improves the efficiency of the heart and lungs. This increased efficiency allows the body to deliver oxygen and nutrients to the muscles more effectively, allowing for better performance during exercise.
Improved Insulin Sensitivity
Another benefit of HIIT is its ability to improve insulin sensitivity. Insulin is a hormone that helps the body use sugar for energy. When the body becomes resistant to insulin, it can lead to conditions such as type 2 diabetes. A study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that just 2 weeks of HIIT can improve insulin sensitivity by 23% (Gibala, et al., 2008). This is likely due to the increased demand for energy during HIIT, which forces the body to use sugar more efficiently.
Increased Metabolic Rate
HIIT can also increase the body's metabolic rate, which is the rate at which the body burns calories. According to a study published in the Journal of Obesity, HIIT can increase the metabolic rate by up to 9% (Burgomaster, et al., 2008). This increase in metabolic rate can help with weight loss and maintenance. Additionally, the afterburn effect of HIIT, known as EPOC (Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption), can continue to burn calories for hours after the workout is finished.
One of the biggest advantages of HIIT is that it can be done in a relatively short amount of time. A typical HIIT workout can last anywhere from 20-30 minutes, making it a great option for those with busy schedules. In comparison, steady-state cardio can take 45-60 minutes or more to achieve similar results. This makes HIIT a time-efficient option for those looking to improve their fitness.
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a form of exercise that can provide numerous health benefits. From improved cardiovascular fitness to increased insulin sensitivity and metabolic rate, HIIT can help improve overall health and fitness. Additionally, the time-efficient nature of HIIT makes it a great option for those with busy schedules. However, it's important to note that HIIT is not suitable for everyone, and it's always best to consult with a healthcare professional before starting a new exercise program.
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- What Is HIIT, and How It Improve Your Workouts? | SELF