We all know how beneficial working out is for our health.
Unfortunately for many of us though, it is hard to find time to fit a good workout into our busy schedules.
What many don’t know though, is that by doing HIIT or interval training, you can get the results of a half hour workout, in as little as 8 to 10 minutes!
At first, this might surprise you.
Many of us are under the assumption that you need to work out for at least 30 to 45 minutes to get results, but that is simply not the case.
Start adding HIIT workouts to your daily routine, and before long you’ll start seeing some astonishing results!
Read on to learn more about these amazing workouts:
What Is High-Intensity Interval Training?
If you are completely unfamiliar with what HIIT or Interval training is, I thought it’d be a good idea to give you a brief primer.
HIIT stands for High-Intensity Interval Training. This probably sounds intimidating, but stay with me. It’s not all bad!
In a typical HIIT session you workout in short, high-intensity intervals, with low-intensity segments mixed in.
During high-intensity intervals, you should be working at 85 to 100 percent of your max heart rate.
Depending on your fitness level, low-intensity segments can range from light jogging to complete rest for a period of time.
A normal HIIT workout can range from anywhere between 8 and 30 minutes depending on your fitness level.
High-intensity intervals can last from 20 seconds to 1 minute in length. Low-intensity intervals usually start at twice the duration of the high-intensity intervals.
A typical beginner HIIT workout on a stationary bike might look something like this:
- Warm up at a slow pace for 3 to 5 minutes
- Alternate 30 seconds High Intensity, 1 minute Low Intensity (repeat 10 to 12 times)
- Cool down at a slow pace for 3 to 5 minutes
Looking at this workout, you’d think you wouldn’t get much out of it, with only 5 to 6 minutes of actual hard work.
Give this a try though, and you’ll see why this works!
Interspersing short high-intensity intervals, with regular low-intensity work allows you to keep your heart rate elevated to a much higher degree, for long enough to reap amazing results!
5 Health Benefits Of HIIT
Now let’s look at the top 5 health benefits:
#1 HIIT Burns More Calories, In Less Time
One of the most appealing aspects of HIIT workouts is that you can burn a ton of calories in very little time.
Aside from making changes to your diet, increasing the calories you burn throughout the day is the best thing you can do to encourage weight loss.
As you lose weight, you’re chances of developing chronic conditions such as diabetes and cancer decrease, and you’ll likely begin to feel better overall.
Who can argue with those results?
Compared to other forms of exercise, HIIT workouts are able to burn between 25 and 30% more calories!
If you are looking to burn off some fat, interval training may be just the thing for you!
#2 HIIT Increases Your Metabolism For Hours Post-Workout
The calorie burning effects of a good HIIT session don’t stop once your workout is complete!
It doesn’t stop there though.
Not only is your metabolism increased for hours, but it also shifts your body from burning consumed carbs to burning body fat for energy!
Don’t think 10 minutes is enough to get a good workout in?
One study found that a HIIT workout as short as 2 minutes was capable of increasing one’s metabolism as much as a 30-minute running session!
#3 HIIT Improves Your Oxygen Consumption
Your body’s VO2 Max, or oxygen consumption, refers to the maximum oxygen you can use during intense bouts of activity.
It’s a common metric used to gauge professional athletes’ aerobic abilities and endurance.
Don’t have aspirations to make it to the big leagues?
Improving this number is still in your interest!
Some of the benefits you’ll notice as a result of an improved VO2 Max include:
- Increased endurance during cardiovascular activity
- A lower resting heart rate
- Improved blood pressure
- Improved mood
It was once believed that the only way to improve your body’s oxygen consumption was through long bouts of cardio exercise.
The exciting news is that you can make measurable improvements to this number with much less work than previously thought!
Through the use of HIIT workouts, in as a little as 20 minutes, you can improve your body’s VO2 Max by nearly 10%!
#4 HIIT May Reduce Your Resting Heart Rate And Blood Pressure
Another amazing health benefit of HIIT is that it can reduce your blood pressure and resting heart rate.
Researchers conducted studies that concluded HIIT workouts as short as 20 minutes, done 3 times a week, was enough to provide great results.
As a result of a lower resting heart rate and blood pressure, your vision may improve and so may your kidney health.
If that’s not enough to sway you, your chances of developing heart disease or having a stroke are also greatly reduced.
If you are overweight or have high blood pressure, you should strongly consider giving HIIT a try!
#5 HIIT May Reduce Your Blood Sugar
Still not convinced HIIT is for you?
Consider this; Aside from reducing fat, HIIT can also lower your blood sugar levels.
As a result, you are at much less of a risk of developing insulin resistance or diabetes.
Having elevated blood sugar levels is dangerous for your heart, can cause issues with your vision, and can even cause kidney failure!
If you weren’t previously convinced that HIIT is for you, hopefully now you’ve changed your mind.
HIIT offers us a great way to improve our health, even when we can only eke out 10 or 15 minutes from our day.
The health benefits of HIIT are numerous, and this list is far from exhaustive.
Give HIIT a try. I guarantee you’ll be happy with the results!
- 1 What Is High-Intensity Interval Training?
- 2 5 Health Benefits Of HIIT
- 3 Wrapping Up