Most people know that physical activity is essential. Yet about 30% of everyone in the world does not get enough of it. If you are one of these, it may be time to try high-intensity interval training (HIIT).
HIIT is an exercise that alternates between high-intensity and moderate-intensity periods. One of the most significant benefits of HIIT is that you can get maximum health benefits in minimal use of time.
What is high-intensity interval training?
HIIT involves short periods of intense training interspersed with lower intensity recovery periods. This can be a time-saving exercise, as HIIT will usually last only about 10 to 30 minutes. HIIT can provide health benefits equivalent to twice as much exercise with moderate intensity despite its short duration.
Your exercise and recovery time will vary based on your chosen activity and how intensely you practice. No matter what exercise, high-intensity intervals should be short periods of high intensity that get your heart rate up quickly.
HIIT can burn many calories in a short time
HIIT can help you burn more calories than traditional exercise or burn the same amount of calories in less time.
Your metabolism is higher for hours after exercise.
Due to the training intensity, HIIT can increase the metabolism for hours after training. This results in more calories burned even after you finish exercising.
HIIT can help you reduce fat
High-intensity interval training can provide similar fat reduction as traditional endurance training, even with much less time spent. Exercise can also reduce visceral fat.
You can gain more muscle by training HIIT
If you are not active, you can gain more muscle by training at high-intensity intervals, but not as much as lifting weights.
HIIT can improve oxygen uptake
High-intensity interval training can improve oxygen uptake just as much as traditional endurance training, even if you only train about half as long.
HIIT intervals can reduce the resting rate and blood pressure
HIIT training can reduce blood pressure and resting heart rate, especially in obese people with high blood pressure.
HIIT can reduce blood sugar
High-intensity interval training can be especially beneficial for those who need to reduce their blood sugar and insulin resistance. Positive effects have been seen in both healthy and diabetics.
How to get started with HIIT
There are many ways to HIIT, so it should not be difficult to get started. Select the activity you want (running, cycling, jumping, etc.). Then you can experiment with different duration of HIIT intervals and recovery.
Here are some simple examples of HIIT training:
- Pedal as hard as possible on a stationary bike for 30 seconds. Then pedal on a slow, light pace for a few sexonds. Repeat for 15 to 30 minutes.
- After a warm-up, sprint as fast as you can for 10-15 seconds. Then jog or walk at a slow pace for a couple of minutes. Repeat for 10 to 20 minutes.
- Perform jumping jacks as fast as possible for 30 to 60 seconds. Walk for 30 to 60 seconds. Repeat for 10 to 20 minutes.