High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT):3 Benefits to Your Health 

HIIT or high-intensity interval training is trending in the health and fitness industry in 2017. There are many health benefits to this style of training, and in this article, I will go over 3 major benefits. Three benefits include improved fat loss, improved cardiovascular health, and no equipment is needed. HIIT incorporates workouts where your heart rate is at elevated levels and then follows with allowed times for recovery.

When performing HIIT training, it’s an intense workout regime that can range from 5 seconds to 8 minutes long. The most important factor when training is elevating your heart rate to around 80-95% maximum. When I train, I always wear some type of fitness tracker to make sure I’m reaching the levels for maximum benefits. The recovery portion can last as long as the training period but the heart rate is lowered to 40-50% maximum. The entire workout can range from 20-60 minutes depending on the program. What’s beneficial is that HIIT can be modified for any person and modified to any fitness levels.

Improved Fat Loss:

It has been shown that HIIT training can consume 6-15% more energy than longer continuous workouts. HIIT is a great time saver since they are normally shorter workouts.

When working out there is a post-exercise period called excess postexercise oxygen consumption or EPOC. This is normally a 2 hour time period after working out where your body is recovering and restoring itself to levels previous to the workout.
After working out oxygen is used to produce ATP (energy) that was lost during your workout, works with protein to repair muscle tissue damage, and restores body temperature. This is the reason to why we can still burn calories 2 hours later after a great workout.

HIIT training is a very effective way to produce ATP to increase your metabolism since energy is needed immediately. This is also why we can only workout at a high intensity for so long since we run out of energy.

Improved Cardiovascular Health:

It has been shown that HIIT training can result in increased heart benefits compared to low to moderate exercise. This style of training is a great way to improve your general health and fitness.

According to Exercise and Sport Science Reviews it was as supported by clinical studies that the cellular and molecular mechanisms of heart adaptation to exercise was increased in HIIT training. It was concluded that HIIT may be an important success factor for improving cardiac function due to observations with oxygen consumption.

No Equipment Needed:

Getting in a great workout can get tough with time constraints, space or even equipment. What’s great with HIIT training you can complete your workout with zero equipment. The most important aspect of this training is getting your heart rate at 80-95% and that can be done by doing high knees, burpees, running, pushups, infinite squats ect. There are so many variations that you can do to complete your workout. Your main focus is to push your heart rate then allow a recovery portion. It’s about pushing yourself to where you physically can’t do any more repetitions, then allowing a short break for recovery, and then repeating the repetition. It is also very important to listen to your body and not push yourself past your limits. Safety is always first.

HITT Examples:

Never Ending Burpees: This exercise hurts so bad but its so good. From a standing position, you will squat down while you jump backward into a plank position with your arms fully extended. Then you jump back up into a squat position and stand nice and tall until the next. You want to keep doing burpees until you feel you won’t be able to complete the next one with correct form. Then allow yourself a break and then once your ready repeat.

Never Ending Squats: Legs for days!! From a standing position, you will want to have your feet shoulder width apart. You will want to go into a sitting position, as if you were to sit in a chair, not allowing your knees to go past your toes. Repeat until you feel you won’t be able to complete the next one with correct form. Allow yourself a quick break, and then repeat.

Sprint: Sprinting is a great way to get your HIIT training in. You will start with a warm up and jog for a couple minutes. When ready, sprint with your heart rate at its maximum for about 15 seconds, then walk for about 45 seconds. Then repeat. I normally do this for 15-20 minutes total.

I hope you enjoyed this article, and decide to incorporate HITT training into your routines for the great health benefits. Don’t let exercise routines bore you, yet make it fun and exciting. You can easily create your own routines while mixing things up to increase fat loss, increase heart function, and know that no equipment is for the necessary benefits.

-Chrissy

 
Sources:
https://www.acsm.org/docs/brochures/high-intensity-interval-training.pdf
https://www.acefitness.org/blog/5008/7-things-to-know-about-excess-post-exercise-oxygen