HIIT, or High-Intensity Interval Training, is a form of cardiovascular exercise becoming increasingly popular in the fitness world. In an HIIT workout, one does short—but intense—exercises followed by less intense activity, or even a total break. There are numerous benefits in switching over to HIIT over the conventional steady state workouts where you maintain a mediocre level of intensity for a longer period of time.
Here are some of the advantages that recent research shows you’ll gain by ditching the traditional cardio workouts and starting a new leaf with HIIT.
Maintain Your Muscle
If you’ve been doing steady state workouts for a while, you may have noticed an unfortunate correlation between heart health and muscle loss. But it doesn’t have to be this way, and a healthy cardio routine does not mean you have to lose muscle mass. With HIIT, you’ll get to keep more of your muscle and showing off your tough core, even while adhering to a strict diet and burning fat.
Burn Burn Burn
Even though you’re maintaining your muscle mass, with HIIT you’ll still be burning calories at a faster pace than steady state cardio. For the calorie loss alone, it’s worth leaving conventional cardio behind and starting an HIIT routine. If you’re tired of the long time it’s taking to burn calories with steady state cardio, consider switching to high-intensity exercises, and you’ll start feeling lighter straightaway.
HIIT doesn’t only keep your muscle mass intact and burn calories; research shows that it can also dramatically increase the speed of your metabolism. Research indicates that your resting metabolic rate (RMR) increases for many hours after your HIIT routine ends, far longer than the effect that steady state exercise has on your metabolism. The only way to get these metabolic benefits is through intense exercises, like with HIIT.
Short On Time?
Let’s face it—not everyone has the time to have a daily steady state cardio routine. Instead of measuring your workout in hours, with HITT, you can start counting the minutes. An effective HIIT routines can be as short as 20 minutes, and yet you’ll start feeling the results immediately. If time is one of the essence, HIIT is calling for you. Stop staring at your treadmill timer and start sprinting. In fact, a 2008 study found that it would take 10.5 hours of endurance training to have the same biochemical effect on one’s muscles as just 2.5 hours of sprinting.
Improve Cardiovascular Health
According to a study published in the American Journal of Human Biology in 2011, HIIT exercise can have remarkable effects on cardiovascular health. The study used standard benchmarks such as body mass index (BMI) and systolic blood pressure, and found dramatic improvements in the group that performed high-intensity workouts over the group that did traditional endurance exercise. The researchers concluded with a high recommendation of HIIT workouts, particularly for adolescents seeking a time efficient way of reducing cardiovascular risk factors as they age.
Stop Buying Equipment!
If time isn’t enough to convince you to start HIIT workouts, think about the potential money that you’ll be saving. There’s absolutely no need to purchase expensive equipment in order to get your heart pumping, so you’ll easily be able to burn calories without burning a hole in your wallet! Ditch the equipment and the gadgets, and instead, begin focusing on what actually matters—intensity.
Take HIIT with You
Do you need to travel for work, or are you going on a vacation? There’s no need to worry about confining your cardio routine to a particular place or a specific time. With HIIT workouts, you’ll have a lot more flexibility in choosing exactly when and where you’d like to exercise. You can get an effective HIIT workout completed anywhere using just your body weight alone.
Boost Athletic Performance
Time and again, HIIT has been shown to increase the performance level of athletes, and that’s why HIIT workouts are highly recommended in the world of professional sports. Maybe you feel that you’ve peaked with steady state workouts, but you’ll still have lots of room to improve when you begin HIIT workouts.
Beyond Heart Health
Last but not least, excelling in HIIT is not just about burning calories or strengthening your heart. HIIT instills life skills in its practitioners that you simply cannot get from steady state workouts. You’ll be pushing yourself in an entirely novel way, and your entire wellbeing will increase far beyond your physical health.
So what are you waiting for? Start an HIIT routine today!
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