Chances are you’ve heard of HIIT workouts — but you may not know exactly what that means. And even if you do, maybe you’re looking for a fresh routine that you can sneak into your day. We’ve got you covered!
HIIT stands for High-Intensity Interval Training. The intensity in these workouts means there is little (if any) downtime built in. This workout is also comprised of interval training, which means exercises are done in bursts. They can start slow and become faster from one exercise to another. Typically, cardio and strength training are combined to create a well-rounded high-intensity interval training workout. Read on for proven benefits of HIIT.
You’ll Burn More Fat
Not only do you burn more calories during a HIIT workout than steady-state cardio, but the effect of all that intense exertion kicks your body’s repair cycle into hyperdrive. That means you burn more fat and calories in the 24 hours after a HIIT workout than you do after, say, a steady-pace run. So if you’re looking to get out of a morning jog with your roommate, just tell them all about this benefit of HIIT. (Here’s all the science on exactly how to build muscle and burn fat.)
You’ll Build a Healthier Heart
Most people aren’t used to pushing into the anaerobic zone (that lovely place where you can’t breathe and you feel like your heart is trying to jump out of your chest). But in this case, extreme training produces extreme results. One 2006 study found that after eight weeks of doing HIIT workouts, subjects could bicycle twice as long as they could before the study, while maintaining the same pace.
It’s Seriously Challenging
This is not a workout you can do while reading a magazine or chatting with your friend. Because it’s so short, you’ll be working hard the whole time. The trade-off is this format offers seasoned exercisers a new challenge and new exercisers a quick way to see results—a benefit of HIIT that other workouts just don’t offer. HIIT high-intensity intervals may have you sucking wind, but you definitely won’t be bored.
HIIT regulates your appetite
If you’re prone to overeating, HIIT will do you some good in managing your appetite. The intensity of HIIT causes a decrease in the amount of ghrelin – an appetite-regulating hormone – which reduces your appetite. At the same time, HIIT also increases your blood sugar and blood lactate level temporarily, which also brings your appetite down.
HIIT is a more efficient form of cardio exercise
HIIT makes it easier to hit the desired number of cardio hours that you need to clock because it’s far more time-efficient. In fact, every hour of HIIT is roughly equivalent to 4 hours of conventional endurance training!
It Promotes Weight Loss without Muscle
When you’re on a diet, it’s hard to not lose muscle mass along with fat. While steady-state cardio seems to encourage muscle loss, studies show that both weight training and HIIT workouts allow dieters to preserve their hard-earned muscles while ensuring most of the weight lost comes from fat stores. Win/win!
We hope that we provided some new information on HIIT. Our office in Austin has made a concrete effort to raise awareness on different kinds of fitness and exercise!
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