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7 Reasons to Try High Intensity Interval Training

7 Reasons to Try High Intensity Interval Training

Reasons to Try High Intensity Interval Training

High intensity interval training (HIIT) is one of the best workouts that you can do, and several studies have found that it is much better than extended aerobic exercise and many other forms of exercise. We have discussed some of the benefits of HIIT on this blog in the past, but this article will go into some more detail about the top reasons why you should try it and its many health benefits. If you don't know what it is, high intensity interval training is simply cycles of short duration high intensity exercise, followed by short rest durations. For example, you might row for 30 seconds as fast as you can then rest for 30 seconds or row at a slow pace for 30 seconds, then repeat this several times. This type of stop/start workout has several health benefits and conveniences as described below:

Reason #1 to Try High Intensity Interval Training - It's Convenient

One of the best reasons to try high intensity interval training is that your workouts will be much shorter than most other workout programs. You can have a great workout in just 10 to 20 minutes when you do high intensity interval exercises. It burns as much calories as you would in double the time doing a regular workout, so working out for 20 minutes with HIIT is the equivalent of working out 40 minutes. The best part is that it really isn't that much more difficult, because you do get to rest for a lot of that period of time, and you'll feel like you had a great workout in spite of the shortened duration. You can schedule HIIT workouts around even the busiest of schedules and have a great workout regularly even if you don't want to spend much time in the gym.

Reason #2 to Try High Intensity Interval Training - There's a lot of customizability

You can customize high intensity interval training workouts so that they are far from boring, and there are literally hundreds of different options available. You can come up with your own routine or work with a physical trainer or use one of the many workout programs that you can find online, but there are literally and endless number of combinations that you can use for HIIT. You can also mix it up between light strength training and aerobic exercises for HIIT, but you should never use HIIT for very heavy weightlifting unless you are working with a professional trainer. By mixing it up you can keep your workouts fun, and that's a huge part of staying motivated and consistent, and it's more important to stay consistent with your workouts than anything.

Reason #3 to Try High Intensity Interval Training - It boosts your metabolism

There are few exercise programs that actually give a major boost to your fat metabolism, but high intensity interval training does for sure. It sets your body into fat burning mode for 24 hours after your workout, and it causes a release of human growth hormone which boosts your fat metabolism and helps you build lean muscle. Many people who start HIIT programs find that they burn fat a lot faster than they ever did before, and when it is combined with a healthy diet the fat loss effects are even more pronounced. A study that was published in the American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation found that 62 obese people who performed HIIT with strength training had major reductions in their waist circumferences, so HIIT programs can help you target stubborn belly fat and weight around your midsection.

Reason #4 to Try High Intensity Interval Training - It releases a ton of HGH

You can certainly take HGH injections or Sermorelin injections to replace the HGH that your body starts to lose at the age of 30, but as an alternative or a supplement to this you can try HIIT. Studies have shown that the exercise can result in a release of anywhere between 450 to 700% of your normal HGH levels following a workout, and the release continues for several hours afterward. HGH is one of the most important hormones for anti-aging and it can help you stay healthy as you age, reducing your risk of chronic diseases, improving your cardiovascular system, and strengthening your bones, and increasing muscle mass while decreasing body fat. The exercise activates fast twitch muscle fibers, and these fibers are what trigger the release of human growth hormone.

Reason #5 to Try High Intensity Interval Training - It reduces your blood pressure

There are several ways that you can reduce your blood pressure including monitoring and reducing your sodium intake, trying stress reduction techniques and cardio, but HIIT has proven to be one of the most effective and fast ways to do this. You don't have to rely on blood pressure medications for the rest of your life if you can lower it naturally, and HIIT can cause a dramatic drop in blood pressure when performed regularly. HIIT strengthens the heart which helps to lower blood pressure, but studies show that you need to try the exercise for at least 8 to 12 weeks before a noticeable drop in blood pressure is seen. Any less than this and you may not see a drop in blood pressure, so you need to be consistent with your training and stay with it in the long term to have this health benefit.

Reason #6 to Try High Intensity Interval Training - It increases muscle mass while reducing fat

By activating more muscle fibers than many cardio workouts, HIIT can put more muscle on your body while reducing fat just as effective as cardio exercises (if not more with the extra HGH release). The exercise reduces fat all throughout your body, and if you stay consistent with a HIIT program you'll find that you lose weight faster than most other exercises that you've done in your life. Exercisers often see results in as little as six sessions, and they experience improved endurance, strength, and muscle tone in this period of time. Combined with a proper diet it will help you build muscle, and when combined with a proper strength training program you can see pretty incredible results in terms of changing your body.

Reason #7 to Try High Intensity Interval Training -- It's perfect if you don't like long workouts

If you have a short attention span, HIIT is the perfect type of exercise for you. It will keep you focused on your exercise and you'll get the most out of your workouts. Compare it to sitting on an exercise bike and pedaling at a slow speed, feeling bored and unmotivated. HIIT can focus you and it can even be fun to try to beat your personal records for speed or number of intervals per session. You can scale it up based on your strength very easily, and it can be exciting to see how your strength and endurance rapidly progresses. The fact that you can do HIIT for almost every exercise out there will also help to keep the exercise fun with several different options that you can try. If you haven't tried it yet you should definitely consider adding it into your workout routine, and if you haven't seen results with your exercise program you might be surprised at how effective it really is at helping you lose weight or stay healthy.




About the author

Dr. Constance Odom, MD

6 min read