High-intensity interval training, or HIIT, alternates short bursts of intense activity with brief periods of recovery. This form of exercise can be highly effective for achieving a variety of health and fitness goals for both novice and seasoned athletes.
Burns Fat and Increases Metabolism
Your body will burn more fat and calories with interval training, thanks to the high-intensity activity and excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), better known as the after-burn effect.
After high-intensity exercise, increased oxygen is used to regulate and maintain body systems. The after-burn effect boosts your metabolism, causing your body to use extra calories for recovery, long after your workout has ended.
According to a National Institutes of Health study, HIIT also stimulates human growth hormone (HGH) production. Some research suggests that HGH helps to regulate muscle and bone growth and increase metabolism. HIIT is also more effective for weight loss and cardio conditioning than much longer periods of slower, sustained exercise.
Efficient Exercise Anywhere
Too busy to fit in regular exercise? Short HIIT sessions provide many of the same benefits longer workouts can, in only a fraction of the time.
What’s more, HIIT can be done anywhere. You can use these principles at home, during your lunch break or in your hotel room while traveling. And although cycling, rowing and jumping rope can be a part of a HIIT routine, you don’t have to use any equipment for this type of exercise.
Intense periods of activity could include sprints, rapid squats, jumping lunges, squat jumps or pushups, alternated with periods of walking in place or stretching. A high-intensity training program can be adapted to whatever time, space and equipment constraints you may have.
Health Benefits of Interval Training
While interval training may not be appropriate for everyone, recent studies have shown that HIIT can benefit many people with chronic illnesses and conditions. For example, researchers in Scotland and Sweden have found that this type of exercise helps diabetics, as it has a positive impact on insulin sensitivity and helps control blood glucose levels.
High-intensity interval training can also help stroke patients with recovery, according to rehabilitation experts at the University of Cincinnati. And Polish researchers have demonstrated that HIIT can help alleviate the muscle rigidity of Parkinson’s disease.
Other studies through The Journal of Physiology have shown that this type of training can help the body use oxygen more efficiently and increase the pumping ability of the heart.
At Steward Health Care: Centers of Orthopedic & Sports Medicine in West Jordan, Utah, we care about your health and well-being. Our world-class sports medicine and orthopedic care will keep you feeling your best and going strong. Let us help you incorporate interval training safely and effectively into your workouts.