If you are interested in personal fitness, you have likely heard about high-intensity interval training (HIIT). While this type of exercise is increasing in popularity, not everyone knows about the extensive benefits of HIIT.
We began this list as an exploration of how HIIT compares to other types of workouts. The results we found were astounding and showed a clear advantage for those who do HIIT. To help you get the most out of your workouts, we thought we should share a few benefits of high intensity interval training that you can expect.
The benefits of HIIT cardio and other forms of HIIT are numerous. Generally, HIIT workouts can offer you some significant physical advantages. They are also very time-efficient, making them ideal for those with a busy schedule.
It is important to point out that many of the benefits of HIIT workouts are also present in other forms of exercise. In most cases, HIIT often delivers those benefits in greater quantities and in a shorter amount of time. Evidence supporting that idea continues to appear through studies. Each strengthens the notion that HIIT is an ideal workout for enhancing your overall health.
In this article, we will take a look at the top 15 benefits of high-intensity interval training. We’ll begin with some of the physical benefits of these workouts, then discuss some of the less-obvious benefits of HIIT. Below is a quick preview of the topics we will cover:
- Improved fat loss
- Increased muscle growth
- Better endurance
- Greater calorie burn
- Cardiovascular health
- Full-body exercise
- Faster metabolism
- Lower blood sugar
- Lower blood pressure
- Better oxygen consumption
- Long-lasting effects
- Bodyweight options
- No location restrictions
- Mental stimulation
Read on to learn why you should begin incorporating HIIT workouts into your regular routine.
Improved Fat Loss
Losing body fat can have a significant positive impact on your overall health. That is why burning fat is one of the most common workout goals. What few people realize in their fat-loss efforts is that certain workouts are far more effective than others.
When the average person tries to lose fat, they are likely to engage in steady-state cardio such as running or cycling. These low-intensity workouts can be effective, but they can also be monotonous and time-consuming. Also, there is a growing body of evidence that suggests that activities like jogging are not the most effective when it comes to fat loss.
Despite common perception, HIIT workouts are far more effective than other types of cardio. Numerous studies now show that those who do HIIT workouts lose a much larger percentage of body fat than those who do other types of workouts.
Increased Muscle Growth
Along with losing fat, gaining muscle is another standard fitness goal. Fortunately, HIIT can help here as well. Unlike with fat loss, HIIT does not have a specific advantage over other workout forms when it comes to muscle growth.
Traditional weightlifting programs are better suited to giving your visible gains. However, HIIT workouts can increase muscle mass as well. Those increases will occur in the muscles you use most during your HIIT workout regimen.
HIIT may not be ideal for muscle growth, but the potential for even a slight increase in muscle mass is another benefit of HIIT.
HIIT workouts tend to be much shorter than standard cardio workouts. That is why so many people are surprised to find that HIIT can help improve your endurance.
Regardless of what you might expect, even a short bout of intense exercise can work wonders for your overall endurance. That means that next time you go out for a long run, your HIIT workouts may make it a bit easier. At the very least, you won’t need to worry that your short HIIT workouts are a detriment to your endurance.
Greater Calorie Burn
HIIT workouts prove to be very efficient in burning calories. That is the prime reason why people are able to lose more fat while following a high-intensity workout routine.
A HIIT workout is often shorter than the average weightlifting session or cardio workout. Despite being a shorter workout, HIIT allows you to burn just as many calories. In some cases, the calorie burn of a HIIT workout shows a significant advantage.
Those dedicated to a weight-loss journey know the old saying about calories in and calories out. Part of that battle takes place during your meals, but the other half comes down to hard work during your exercises. With HIIT, you can be sure that you are getting the most out of your workout in regards to burning the calories you consume.
Regularly performing HIIT workouts can help improve your heart health. There are some HIIT routines that focus specifically on your cardiovascular endurance. However, any form of HIIT seems to strengthen the heart and circulatory system.
Many Americans pass away due to heart-related conditions. Plus, many of those conditions can be improved or discouraged through regular exercise. Still, many people put off physical fitness until it is already too late.
If you are interested in preemptively caring for your heart health, HIIT is a great way to go about that. HIIT may have the capacity to help those with heart conditions. But no matter the health of your heart, HIIT will have a positive impact on your cardiovascular health.
However, you should know that HIIT is not the only form of exercise that you can use to help your heart and arteries. In fact, longer exercises of moderate-intensity prove to have some similar benefits.
Giving all of your workout attention to one body part or one movement is not a wise method. That approach can lead to some significant strength and mobility imbalances in your body. To avoid that, you’ll either need to dedicate certain days to opposing muscle groups or find a way to engage in full-body exercise.
HIIT workouts are one way that you can take that second route. As you test HIIT workout routines, you’ll find that many of the most popular routines target most of the major muscle groups in your body.
This full-body approach is just another way that HIIT can add some convenience to your workout planning. It is also a way to make sure that you are boosting the strength of your whole body in a balanced way. If you love working out on an exercise bike then you can opt for a exercis bike with moving arms that would help you to get full-body workout form the comfort of your home.
Metabolism refers to the chemical processes that take place in order to keep your body alive. Those reactions can have an effect on how readily your body burns calories and can affect your overall mood. Generally, having an increased metabolism will help you lose weight.
Compared to other exercises, HIIT workouts appear to have the greatest positive impact on metabolism. Even a few minutes of intense work can improve your metabolism more than a longer moderate exercise.
Some studies suggest that HIIT can help encourage your body to burn fat rather than carbohydrates. If that proves to be true, it is just another example of how valuable HIIT can be for those attempting weight loss.
Lower Blood Sugar
By now, you know that HIIT workouts have something to offer just about anyone. They may be especially beneficial for those with type 2 diabetes. Those with such insulin resistance know the importance of monitoring blood sugar levels.
HIIT workouts offer two advantages to those with diabetes. First, they help to reduce your overall blood sugar. Second, they work to improve your insulin resistance over the long term as well. In both these efforts, HIIT is more effective than running or jogging at a slow pace.
Lower Blood Pressure
Another standard health concern among the general public is high blood pressure. High blood pressure places stress on your circulatory system and can lead to the collection of plaque on your arterial walls. When unabated, high blood pressure can be deadly.
Working out at a high intensity is one of the best ways to reduce blood pressure. HIIT workouts can help lower both your systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Again, the benefits in this area offered by HIIT surpass what standard workouts can give.
As is the case with cardiovascular issues in general, high blood pressure often goes undetected until a more serious condition can be diagnosed. As such, it is a good idea to take up a healthy diet and physical exercise in advance. HIIT is just one of the many activities you can incorporate into your routine to keep your blood pressure in check.
Better Oxygen Consumption
The amount of oxygen that your body can consume affects how well you can generate energy while you are active. The more oxygen that you can transfer from your bloodstream to your muscles, the more athletically effective you can be.
Generally, distance athletes such as marathon runners and cyclists have impressive oxygen consumption capabilities. But that does not mean that you need to engage in that kind of activity to achieve similar results.
Anyone, not just top-tier athletes, can benefit from improved oxygen consumption. HIIT workouts are one of the best ways to achieve that benefit. Even compared to some steady-state cardio workouts, HIIT can create a greater increase in oxygen consumption in a shorter amount of time.
What may be the most valuable benefit of HIIT workouts is that many of the other benefits stay with you long after the workout has ended. We have already touched on many of those advantages already. But it is important to recognize that HIIT tends to have a much longer-lasting positive health effect than other workouts.
This is particularly notable when it comes to calorie burn. While you will burn plenty of calories during your HIIT workout, you will also continue to burn calories during the hours after your workout is over. This prolonged calorie burn can work wonders in your weight-loss goals.
However, longer calorie burns are not the only lasting benefit of HIIT. As referenced before, HIIT can boost your metabolism and improve your insulin resistance.
Another barrier to a regular fitness routine is equipment limitations. Most people don’t have enough weights or benches to begin a comprehensive strength training routine at home. Others are hesitant to spend money on a gym membership.
Luckily, HIIT workouts solve both of those limitations. That is because you can perform a complete HIIT workout using nothing more than your bodyweight.
But combining multiple bodyweight exercises, you will never need to set foot in an expensive gym or dole out cash for home exercise equipment. Instead, you can complete an intense workout with no equipment at all.
No Location Restrictions
This point shares a strong relationship with the last one. Considering you have no equipment limitations for HIIT, you also have no location restrictions.
The lack of equipment means you won’t be tied to a single location every time you want to workout. Instead, your workout can take place in a location that is comfortable for you.
Many HIIT workouts can happen in the safety of your home. But if you want to add some additional excitement to your exercise, you can choose a novel location for your HIIT workout. Performing HIIT in an area like your local park is a great way to work out while getting some fresh air, too. This flexibility also makes it so that you can work out easily while you’re traveling.
Another great benefit of HIIT workouts is that you can vary them a lot. It is a common complaint that working out is simply too boring. Those who struggle through hours of weight training or running may have some legitimate claims in that regard.
HIIT workouts eliminate that boredom because they come in many forms. The defining features of a HIIT workout are the limited time frame and the high intensity of the exercise. However, HIIT does not mandate which exercises you do.
That freedom allows you to develop a routine that you find engaging. By following an intriguing workout schedule, you’ll have a better chance of sticking to your workouts and remaining motivated for your next session. As soon as your HIIT workout becomes dull, you can switch to one of the many other forms of HIIT available to you.
The last of the many benefits of HIIT workouts is that these workouts are very time-efficient. Many people avoid working out because they are operating with the false belief that they don’t have enough time.
Most adults have a tight schedule, and working out is one of the tasks that might not make it onto your to-do list. If you are trying to fit a workout into a packed daily routine, HIIT is the right choice for you.
We have already shown you the many health benefits that HIIT workouts grant you. What you might like even more is that these workouts can be short. At times, a 20 to 30 minute HIIT workout is long enough to enjoy those HIIT benefits. By comparison, other workouts can take hours to complete.
That means that HIIT is not only beneficial, it is also highly convenient. A short workout can set you on the right track towards your fitness goals. Even if you only have ten minutes of free time three times a day, you can still get in a decent HIIT workout.
The benefits of HIIT workouts are hard to understate and are something you can easily achieve. All you need to do is develop a regular HIIT workout routine and stick to it to see the results.
Do let me know your thoughts on the listed benefits of HIIT Workout in the comment section below.
If you think I missed any other benefits the should be included do let me know.