HIIT has swept the fitness industry by storm because of it's potential to deliver serious health benefits, but is it worth all the fuss?
We definitely think so! First things first - hiit stands for high intensity interval training. It is performed by repeating periods of intense intervals of work followed by short or varied intervals res. Hiit should be performed at 85%-90%+ of an individual’s maximum training capacity for maximum benefits.We've summed up our top 5 reasons for why HIIT is so hype-worthy.
1) It has serious metabolic benefits
Working at your maximum for short bursts followed by intervals of rest is the key to unlocking your metabolic potential. Not only has it been shown to elevate your metabolism for up to 24 hours after you've finished your workout, but it can also positively influence growth hormone which has a whole host of benefit from metabolism to immunity and even anti-ageing.
2) It can help with blood sugar
The verdict is in - hiit has been clinically shown to improve your metabolism of sugar and can improve insulin sensitivity. This is the same effect that cardio and other weights or steady state workout has, however the beauty of hiit is that it takes less time, so you get the same results in less sessions.
3) Even thought it's short, it can help improve endurance
Although it may seem counter intuitive, short bursts of maximum work can actually improve your endurance and carry over into other types of endurance exercises, like running, biking and swimming. Why? HIIT can increase the number of mitochondria (the little part of your cell that produces energy), which makes you more efficient in the long run (literally).
4) There's a bunch of different ways you can do it
When hiit first came on the scene, it was all about the Tabata runs. This is where you run all out for 20 seconds, rest for 10, and repeat it 8 times. It's only 4 minutes of work, but it's killer. For those of us who can't bear the thought of running, the good news is there's loads of different ways you can perform hiit. Studies have shown that subjects who did hiit with burpees had almost the same benefits as those who ran or cycled, making it more accessible if you have an injury (or just plain aversion!). Any plyometric exercise will do - we love plyos lunges, squat jumps and chest to floor burpees.
5) It's great for your heart
We don't often think of blood pressure as something that's relevant to us until we're 50+, but it's getting more and more common for individuals in their 30's to suffer from high blood pressure from stress. Usually, periods of stress will raise blood pressure, and then when the stress goes away our blood pressure goes back to normal. When we're under perpetual amounts of stress, blood pressure can stay elevated and have a negative impact on our health. Exercise in general is fantastic for blood pressure, but hiit has been shown to improve arterial elasticity and can also help your body get back to it's pre stress state more quickly than other forms of exercise.
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