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Health and Fitness News

Why Do HIIT?

Eight benefits of high-intensity interval training.

It’s a phrase you hear a lot in the fitness world—high intensity interval training. If you’re not familiar with HIIT, all it means is exercise that alternates between bursts of high-intensity exercise and recovery periods of low- to moderate-intensity exercise. This can be done using a variety of cardio exercises. For runners, a HIIT workout would start with a short warm-up and then alternate between jogging at a moderate pace and running at full speed and end with a cool down period.

You may wonder what benefits this offers compared to running at the same speed for the duration of your workout. Well, there are quite a few. Keep reading to find out about them.

It’s Adaptable

One benefit of HIIT is that you get to choose a workout you enjoy. You’re not stuck running or swimming everyday. As an added perk, HIIT works with any type of cardio exercise, whether you prefer jogging, walking, rowing, swimming, cycling, or aerobics. Switch things up and do a different cardio workout every week if you want.

It’s Efficient

Studies show you can burn more calories in less time with HIIT. In fact, jogging for 15 minutes using HIIT burns as many or more calories as an hour of jogging at the same pace. High-intensity exercise is especially effective at burning off fat. Have stubborn fat around your middle? You may want to try HIIT.

A short but effective workout is wonderful news for busy people struggling to find enough time to fit in a quality workout. The workout may be challenging, but definitely worth it. So if you’re looking for efficient, look no further than HIIT.

Improves Endurance

Alternating between high- and low-intensity exercise teaches your muscles how to use energy more efficiently and your lungs how to breathe more effectively. The end result is increased endurance for any type of exercise. Have trouble running a mile? Do HIIT for a few weeks and try again.

No Equipment Needed

Another good thing about HIIT is that it can be done anywhere, anytime, with no need for special equipment. Step out your front door to walk or run around the block. Or stay in your home to do exercises such as high knees, jump rope, lunges, squats, or jumping jacks.

Boosts Metabolism

High-intensity exercise requires you to breathe in more oxygen. This extra oxygen increases your metabolism for several hours after your workout. What does this mean? Unlike other workouts performed at a steady pace, you continue to burn extra calories even after your workout is over. Now who wouldn’t want that?

Great for Your Heart

The more exercise your heart gets, the stronger it becomes. Protect your heart and circulatory system from disease by pushing yourself to physical limits. When your heart is pounding, your muscles are burning, and your breathing is fast, your heart’s working hard to pump blood to your body. It’s a lot easier to do short bursts of intense exercise when you know a rest period is only a minute or two away.

Builds Muscle

HIIT workouts have the reputation of building muscle while burning fat. High-intensity exercise works against the resistance of your own bodyweight, making it effective at building and preserving muscle.

Never Boring

It’s not surprising that so many people give up on exercise when all they do is jog on the treadmill at the same pace every day. A workout like that can be boring and ineffective. With HIIT, you’re always pushing yourself to new limits so there’s little chance of getting bored.