The benefits of high-intensity interval training
Whether you go to the gym regularly or perform workouts in the comfort of your home, you've probably become used to following a specific exercise regime. While it's good to have a workout plan, it's important to ensure you also mix up your exercises in order to give the different parts of your body a full workout.
Performing exercise at a moderate pace will bring health benefits, but did you know your body could benefit more effectively from carrying out high-intensity interval training (HIIT)?
HIIT involves alternating between intense bursts of activity and fixed periods of less intense activity or even complete rest. An example of this would be running on the treadmill as fast as you can for one minute, then breaking into a gentle jog, walk or rest for one minute before increasing tempo and repeating the cycle for ten to 15 minutes.
It should be noted that this kind of training should not be carried out if you suffer from any cardiovascular health conditions. If you are unsure, contact your physician first before performing HIIT.
If you've never performed HIIT, then you're probably wondering what the health benefits are. Here's just some of them:
HIIT is a highly efficient type of workout. Although you might only carry it out for ten or 20 minutes, the effects on your health are long lasting.
According to 2011 research presented at the American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting, performing HIIT over a period of two weeks improves aerobic capacity as much as six to eight weeks of endurance training.
What's more, it's perfect for those who lead busy lifestyles. So if you normally come up with excuses to avoid exercising, such as "I don't have time", you can stop right now. Instead, make the most of your lunch break by performing around 15 minutes of high-intensity exercise.
After HIIT, the body consumes more oxygen than in slower, moderate exercise, which helps to increase post-workout metabolism. This means that once you've finished your high-intensity workout, your body will spend the next few hours expending energy in a bid to recover (sometimes referred to as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption).
Since HIIT involves short intervals of maximum strength training followed by slower periods of rest, the body is encouraged to be more efficient at producing and using energy. Burning more energy in a workout helps you get to a negative energy balance, which is essential if you're trying to lose weight. Unfortunately, research shows that there is no increased after burn effect compared to normal intensive exercise (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19151592).
However, you save time during a high-intensity workout for the same effect of an after burn as normal intensive exercise.
While all types of exercise increase heart rate, carrying out HIIT is more effective in keeping the heart rate up, even during rest. You'll find that the more you perform HIIT, your rest intervals will get shorter and shorter. Over time, your heart muscle and overall cardiovascular system will adapt to the increased intensity, helping it to become stronger and healthier.
Good heart health will also contribute towards boosting your dacadoo Health Score, so ensure you perform high-intensity exercise to see your number rise.