The Secret Benefits Of HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) That You May Not Have Known About
The mere mention of the word ‘high-intensity’ may make even the most hardcore exercise enthusiasts recoil in fear, but this specialised type of workout has incredible benefits that some don’t have any idea about.
The workout itself consists of fixed periods of low-intensity exercise (or even resting) followed by shorter bursts of a higher intensity. The term can apply to any workout that follows this pattern, from walking for two minutes and running for one to lifting weights for two minutes and resting for five. They are designed for you to put all or most of your energy into the ‘bursts’, ensuring that your heart rate stays raised and burning fat as you work.
However, burning fat is not the only good thing about HIIT; there are many science-proven health benefits that sound almost too good to be true.
- It boosts your metabolism.
When your heart rate increases, your breathing speed does too, so it makes sense that you consume way more oxygen during this particularly intense method of exercise. This oxygen excess leads to your metabolic rate boosting itself for over two hours after your workout, which not only means that you burn more calories during the exercise alone, but also…
- …you’ll burn calories even after leaving the gym!
Many people would agree that this is a serious plus to intense exercise. In trying to repair your muscles, your body’s recovery systems will work faster and more effectively, meaning you could still be burning fat and calories for up to 24 hours after your workout. (That means you can have that jam doughnut.)
- It’s free.
Forget expensive treadmills and cross-trainers — all you need for a good session of HIIT is an open space and motivation. HIIT relies on utilising your own body weight to burn calories and fat, so even something as simple as high knees or jumping jacks can end up more effective than weights or other costly equipment. This is because you’re focusing more on your heart rate during these workouts, rather than building muscle or toning a particular area as you may do whilst lifting weights or using an exercise bike.
- It keeps your heart working well.
Interval training makes it easier for people to hit the point of heart-pounding anaerobic activity; this is due to the rest periods between bursts giving your body time to recover whilst keeping your heart rate up. It also improves your circulation and maintains a healthy rate of blood flow, something which keeps your mind sharp and focused, and can help you to better deal with stress.
- It builds up your endurance levels.
This means that you’ll be able to exercise for longer in pretty much anything, from running to cycling and swimming to hiking, and you’ll have more energy to use for everyday activities too. Not only does that make HIIT great ‘in the moment’, but it means that you’ll be seeing the benefits of it no matter what you do or when you do it.
- It’s fun!
With no specialised equipment or fitness levels needed, HIIT provides beginners with a great way to see fast results and experts with different challenges that they’ll never get bored of. Similar to a dog or a good pair of jeans, this kind of workout will stick with you for life.
If you’re interested in trying out HIIT but don’t know where to begin, why not check out LiveWell Health’s personal training scheme? Including a nutrition plan for beginners and a personalised scheme that works to fit you, our programs are designed to help you become the best that you can be. For more information, contact us on 07939 212 739 or drop us an email at email@example.com.