High-Intensity Interval Training: What It Is, Benefits, And More
HIIT involves short bursts of intense activity followed by periods of rest or low-intensity exercise and is repeated alternatively.
In the realm of fitness and wellness, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) has gained significant popularity in recent years as an efficient and effective workout method. This form of exercise provides a time-saving solution for busy individuals and also offers a wide range of benefits for both physical fitness and overall health.
What is high-intensity interval training?
High-intensity interval training is a form of cardiovascular exercise that alternates short bursts of intense activity with brief recovery periods of rest or low-intensity exercise. The HIIT workout sessions typically range from 10 to 30 minutes, making it ideal for those with busy schedules. During high-intensity intervals, the body is pushed to its maximum capacity, elevating your heart rate and challenging your cardiovascular system. On the other hand, the recovery periods allow for brief rest, enabling you to catch your breath and prepare for the next intense interval.
Some examples of HIIT exercises include:
Benefits of high-intensity interval training
Burning calories: HIIT workouts are highly effective if you look for ways to burn calories. The intense intervals elevate your heart rate and metabolism, leading to increased calorie burn during and after the exercise session and throughout the day.
Maximum results in minimum time: HIIT workouts help to achieve maximum results in minimum time.HIIT provides an excellent option of shorter workout durations, for people with busy schedules who still want to prioritise their fitness.
Improved cardiovascular health: The highly intense intervals of HIIT challenge and strengthen the cardiovascular system, leading to improved heart health and increased aerobic capacity.
Enhanced fat loss: HIIT has been found to be very effective in reducing body fat and abdominal fat more efficiently than traditional steady-state cardio exercises.
Lean muscle mass: Incorporating HIIT into your fitness routine helps build lean muscle mass and improve overall muscle tone and strength.
Afterburn effect HIIT workouts increase post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), also known as the afterburn effect. This means your body continues to burn calories at an elevated rate even after you've finished your workout.
How to do HIIT?
First, prepare your body for the intense intervals by beginning your HIIT workout with a dynamic warm-up. Indulge in movements such as jogging in place, arm swings, and bodyweight exercises.
After you warm up your body, select a combination of exercises that will target different muscle groups and elevate your heart rate. This can include exercises such as burpees, jumping jacks, squats, push-ups, and high knees.
Now determine the work-rest ratio that suits your fitness level. For beginners, start with a 1:2 ratio, such as 20 seconds of high-intensity exercise followed by 40 seconds of rest. As you progress, you can decrease the rest periods and increase the duration of the intense intervals.
After you adapt your body to the new normal, it's important to gradually increase the intensity and duration of your HIIT workouts to prevent overexertion and injury. It is always important to listen to your body and adjust the intensity based on your fitness level.
Always allow for adequate recovery time between HIIT sessions to give your body time to rest and repair. This will help prevent burnout and optimise your performance during subsequent workouts.
HIIT vs traditional cardiovascular exercises
In terms of duration, HIIT workouts are typically much shorter than traditional cardio sessions, yet they offer comparable benefits in improving cardiovascular health and fitness. Studies suggest that HIIT workouts might even surpass traditional cardio workouts in terms of cardiovascular improvements.
HIIT's effectiveness can be attributed to several factors. Firstly, it enhances the body's capacity to burn fat. During HIIT, the body enters a state of oxygen debt, compelling it to consume more fat to restore oxygen levels.
Additionally, HIIT contributes to enhancing anaerobic fitness, which refers to the ability to engage in short bursts of high-intensity activity without depleting oxygen stores. This aspect of fitness is vital for activities like sprinting, jumping, and weightlifting.
High-intensity interval training offers a plethora of benefits for people looking to improve their fitness levels and overall well-being. The advantages of HIIT are extensive and incorporating it into your fitness routine provides a time-efficient and effective way to achieve your fitness goals.
However, always remember to start with a warm-up and gradually progress in intensity and duration. With consistency and dedication, HIIT can become a valuable component of your wellness journey. So, lace up your sneakers, embrace the intensity, and reap the rewards of high-intensity interval training.Disclaimer: The above content is for informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for the advice of a qualified physician or doctor. The Company does not vouch for or endorse any of the above content, and disclaims any and all warranties, express or implied, relating to the same.