7 Impactful Reasons to Incorporate HIIT Into Your Workouts

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It can sound too good to be true, but you really might get more significant benefits from exercising for a shorter amount of time…so long as you bring the intensity.  High-intensity interval training (HIIT), a form of training in which repeated bouts of short duration, high-intensity intervals are intermingled with less intense recovery periods, provides unique fitness benefits in a variety of ways.  Lucky for us, the Rowgatta Workout incorporates HIIT into its daily programming in a low-impact environment.

Here are 7 impactful reasons to incorporate HIIT into your training regimen:

1.   Efficient Calorie Burn

HIIT can burn more calories than traditional exercise, or burn the same amount of calories in a shorter amount of time compared to other forms of exercise.  In a study comparing the calories burned during 30 minutes each of HIIT, weight training, running and biking, the researchers found that HIIT burned 25-30% more calories than the other forms of exercise.  Moreover, HIIT allows you to burn about the same amount of calories, but spend less time exercising.  Sounds pretty good, eh?

2.   Increased Metabolic Rate

Due to the intensity of the workout, HIIT can elevate your metabolism for hours after exercise, which results in additional calories being burned even after you have finished exercising.  Some researchers have even found that HIIT increases your metabolism after exercise more so than jogging and weight training.  A relevant study showed that just two minutes of HIIT in the form of sprints increased metabolism over 24 hours as much as 30 minutes of running.  So if you want to boost your metabolism, get some HIIT in your life.

3.   Efficient Fat Loss

HIIT intervals can produce similar fat loss to traditional endurance exercise, even with a much smaller time commitment, while also reducing unhealthy visceral fat.  One study found that people performing HIIT three times per week for 20 minutes per session lost 4.4 pounds, or 2 kilograms, of body fat in 12 weeks – without any dietary changes.

4.   Improved Oxygen Consumption

HIIT can improve oxygen consumption as much as traditional endurance training, even if you only exercise for about half as long.  One study found that five weeks of HIIT workouts performed four days per week for 20 minutes each session improved oxygen consumption by 9%.  This was almost identical to the improvement in oxygen consumption in the other group in the study, which cycled continuously for 40 minutes per day, four days per week.  Meaning even if you’re an endurance athlete, HIIT is not only helpful but essential for optimal training.

5.   Reduced Blood Pressure and Heart Rate

HIIT can reduce blood pressure and heart rate, primarily in overweight or obese individuals with high blood pressure.  One study found that eight weeks of HIIT on a stationary bike decreased blood pressure as much as traditional continuous endurance exercise training in adults with high blood pressure.  In this study, the endurance training group exercised four days per week for 30 minutes per day, but the HIIT group only exercised three times per week for 20 minutes per day.  One HIIT a day keeps the doctor away.

6.   Reduced Blood Sugar

HIIT may help reduce blood sugar and insulin resistance, which have been seen in both healthy and diabetic individuals.  A summary of 50 different studies found that not only does HIIT reduce blood sugar, but it also improves insulin resistance more than traditional continuous exercise.  With so much sugar found in the food we consume, the importance of HIIT as a counterbalance is more important than ever.

7.   Reverses Signs of Aging

HIIT may reverse signs of aging within cells, particularly for older adults.  According to one study, HIIT yielded beneficial cellular changes – especially in mitochondria and ribosomes, which are important for maintaining healthy cell function and also tend to deteriorate with age.  Basically, HIIT is the natural fountain of youth.

FitnessKenneth Rosenzweig