HIIT Workouts Benefits
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The fitness and medical industries have come to recognize high-intensity interval training, or HIIT workouts, as one of the most efficient ways to enhance metabolic function, respiratory endurance, and cardiovascular health. According to research, HIIT workouts help athletes of all stripes perform better physically and burn fat quickly. In fact, HIIT exercises can completely change your body and your physical capabilities because they have an impact on at least three vital bodily systems:
- Your cardiovascular fitness and stamina
- The capacity of your body to utilize oxygen
- Your hormonal balance
The main attraction of a HIIT workout for most people is its capacity to continue burning fat long after the workout has ended. This is because it is one of the best ways to speed up metabolism.
HIIT: What Is It?
High-intensity interval training is a type of exercise that entails repeatedly performing brief bursts of high-intensity exercise, then resting for a short time. This series is repeated numerous times back-to-back, typically taking 20 to 30 minutes to complete. Various exercises, such as sprints or faster repetitions of a specific technique, can be done during the “intense” internal times. Running on a treadmill while varying the speed between very fast and easier and slower is a common HIIT exercise. You alternate between sprints, which use around 90% of your energy, and walking or slowly jogging to relax and recuperate in order to follow an interval program.
On the other hand, steady-state exercises typically remain inside the same kind of “work” zone over time, with the amount of effort required remaining constant. Given that many people forgo regular exercise because they “don’t have enough time,” HIIT workouts are one of the finest methods to get through this obstacle and see tremendous results quickly. As a less time-consuming alternative to steady-state exercise training, HIIT protocols are a well-researched strategy to achieve physical advantages.
For instance, HIIT sessions versus steady-state exercise were compared in a study to see how they affected body fat and muscle metabolism. The study examined the effects of calorie expenditure and fat loss in young adults and discovered that, despite HIIT workouts actually burning fewer calories while performing them than steady-state cardio exercise did (likely because of its shorter duration), the HIIT program resulted in greater overall fat loss than steady-state exercise did.
The study also found that although the steady-state workouts actually destroyed down muscle, the HIIT workout helped grow muscle. Researchers came to the conclusion that HIIT not only burns more fat throughout the day but also increases muscle mass and boosts metabolism. Depending on the type you select, HIIT workouts may be done at home without a trainer or gym, which is one of their wonderful benefits. and they can target every part of your body, including your legs, arms, and abs.
Who Should Perform HIIT Workouts?
High-intensity exercise may be risky for inactive middle-aged adults, according to several research. People with a healthy cardiovascular system and who are already somewhat active are best suited to undertake it. Because of its many advantages, HIIT exercises are accessible to all people. To prevent injury or more serious issues, it is important to start cautiously if you haven’t been exercising.
A consistent high-intensity interval training program has been demonstrated to improve body composition, enhance cardio-metabolic health, lower the risk of heart disease, and aid increase exercise tolerance, even in participants who are fat and overweight. Research has shown that HIIT workouts are safe, efficient, and well-tolerated and could help to improve adherence to exercise training given the limited time commitment that they require.
Benefits of HIIT workouts
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1. Improvements for Type 2 Diabetes
Research has demonstrated the particular benefits of resistance-based interval training for blood flow and blood vessel dilation. According to research in the American Journal of Physiology—Heart and Circulatory Physiology, resistance-based interval training enhanced endothelial function in people with type 2 diabetes, those who hadn’t previously exercised, and those who did. Participants with type 2 diabetes showed improvements each time blood flow was assessed before, right after, and one and two hours after working exercise. One or two hours after exercising, the other two participant groups saw improvements.
2. Improves Cardiac Health
Numerous investigations presently demonstrate that internal training—including HIIT sessions—promotes larger enhancements in VO2 max and overall fitness capacities than steady-state exercises do. In reality, the best measure of cardiovascular endurance is VO2 max. The measurement that is most frequently used in fitness research to demonstrate the effects that exercise has on the body is this one. VO2 max is a measurement of how well the body can use oxygen for energy. It is often referred to as “max oxygen absorption” or “max aerobic activity.”
The maximum quantity of oxygen (measured in milliliters) that a person can use in one minute per kilogram of body weight is known as VO2 max. The amount of oxygen that a person can use in one minute is an important predictor of their level of general fitness as well as their lung and heart health, hence this measurement is significant. During HIIT-style endurance exercises, the heart will enlarge, or “hypertrophy,” as a result of the increase in blood volume, enabling the heart muscle to grow bigger and stronger.
You may strengthen your heart and improve your cardiovascular fitness by keeping your heart rate up while working hard. You practice recovering more rapidly and require less rest time during the brief rest periods. This is how you gradually boost your stamina and improve your capacity to carry out physical exercises.
It has the advantage of enabling you to keep the overall workout intensity high while still preserving form if you perform quick recovery periods in between the intervals where you’re working harder. Because your body can’t absorb enough oxygen, it’s challenging to exert yourself vigorously and keep a high heart rate for an extended period of time. However, interval training’s rest/recovery phases provide you a brief opportunity to catch your breath and temporarily lower your heart rate. Your VO2 max can help you set fitness goals to work toward and provide a starting point for gauging your capacity to sustain a high degree of effort over time.
3. Causes the EPOC (Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen) Effect
HIIT exercises also result in “EPOC,” or excess post-exercise oxygen consumption. When you exercise hard, a condition known as EPOC occurs where your body needs more oxygen than usual. After challenging workouts like those done during HIIT, your body requires extra oxygen because it needs to make up for the “oxygen deficit” that happened during the challenging “burst” periods of the exercise. EPOC has a variety of purposes for the body, one of which is to help your body transition into a recovery phase after a HIIT workout.
In order to help with hormone restoration, recharging your glucose stores, and rebuilding your muscle fibers and tissue, a higher level of oxygen is required during recovery. The finest feature of EPOC? In addition to extra oxygen, it is accompanied by an increased need for biological “fuel” or energy. After a vigorous workout, your body actually breaks down its fat reserves, releasing free fatty acids into the bloodstream. These free fatty acids are converted to oxidized forms that your body needs for energy throughout the post-workout recovery period.
Even after you have finished working out, more calories are burned as your body utilizes more oxygen to return to a resting state. This means that after a HIIT workout, you continue to benefit and lose fat for the rest of the day. What other advantages do HIIT workouts provide for EPOC? Additionally, ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the energy source your body uses to function, is created. Post-exercise oxygen is also utilized to lower lactic acid. Exercise results in the formation of lactic acid, which is what causes your muscles to feel “burning” when they are working hard.
During exercise, lactic acid moves through the bloodstream to the kidneys, heart muscle, and liver. A greater amount of oxygen is then required to change the lactic acid back into pyruvic acid, which causes your pain to lessen and your body to go into a resting condition. The body’s increased metabolism brought on by the rise in body temperature observed during exercise is another use of EPOC. You can see why HIIT workouts have such a significant impact on your strength, stamina, and health because of all of these necessary processes that the body must go through during an EPOC phase.
4. Releases hormones that help you burn fat and build muscle.
Intense-intensity training circuits burn fat and burn calories while also stimulating hormones that help build muscle. For instance, during HIIT, the body creates the growth hormone known as IGF-1, which enables the body to develop lean mass muscle.
High-intensity interval exercise can slow the aging of cells, according to a Mayo Clinic study. HIIT has occasionally been demonstrated to renew the cells that aid in the body’s ability to repair the damage. The three-month programs for the participants either included HIIT, strength training, or a combination of the two. Results were favorable for all groups, but the HIIT-only group stood out in particular. Age-related improvements in mitochondrial function were 69 percent for older participants and 49 percent for the younger group. Additionally, the insulin levels, heart health, and lung health of the HIIT group all improved. Some even saw the age-related reduction in mitochondrial activity reversed.
6. Aids in Hormone Balance
High-intensity interval training has numerous advantages, including being “anti-aging” and balancing the hormones linked to weight gain and poor eating: Given that it is thought to be the sole hormone capable of arousing appetite, ghrelin is the hormone responsible for both long-term weight gain and irregular eating patterns. In essence, it’s the primary cause of cravings for fried, sugary, and salty foods. Leptin is referred to as the “starvation hormone” since it makes you feel “full.” Leptin is essential for ensuring that you have enough energy by signaling to your brain that you have eaten enough food.
Four facts about testosterone’s complex interactions with the two hormones mentioned above are as follows: 1) Increased testosterone levels encourage weight loss; 2) testosterone blocks leptin release in the body; 3) lower leptin levels encourage weight gain; and 4) both hormones have been seen to rise following HIIT.
Theoretically, HIIT creates a seesaw effect on these two important hormones (testosterone and leptin), which often work against one another but support the same desired weight loss impact. . The question has been, “Would the amount of leptin produced as a result of HIIT be enough to counteract testosterone’s ability to slow down leptin release?” The answer is indeed true, according to a study that was written up in the journal Endocrine. Since there was no correlation between the two in a clinical investigation, it appears that high-intensity exercise fosters a highly specialized environment where leptin is comparatively resistant to the detrimental effects of testosterone rise. You profit from both hormones that help with weight loss by engaging in HIIT training workouts.
Additionally, HIIT training participants’ varied hormone levels were demonstrated: by Health and Exercise Science experts from the University of Bath (UK)After 30 minutes of recuperation, ghrelin starts to fall. This caused a rise in growth hormone, a hormone linked to weight loss, suggesting that interval training has effects on hormones beyond ghrelin and leptin. It is more evident than ever that high-intensity interval training is quite effective at reducing various hunger and weight gain hormones, just to name two from a plethora of research studies.
Although high-intensity interval training is a fantastic form of exercise, it can be highly taxing on the body and is not suitable for everyone. The necessity for precautions and risk factors should both be understood. For instance, HIIT workouts are not your best option if you haven’t worked out in a while. Instead, begin your training by walking. Try a HIIT workout when you’re ready to “step” things up.
Whom should HIIT workouts be avoided?
- For anyone with joint or tendon injuries; HIIT is not a good rehab routine; instead, only look to HIIT once you’re well recovered from injury
- Those with asthma or respiratory issues should begin with lower-intensity exercise to make sure they can handle the workload.
- Those with heart issues or who recently underwent cardiac surgery.
- If you take blood pressure medications or have uncontrolled diabetes.
- Those with osteopenia or osteoporosis..
- If you’re pregnant.
With HIIT, heart rates increase rapidly so keep a close eye on your fitness threshold and don’t push it too hard in your first few bouts. It’s also a good idea to wear a heart rate monitor or fitness watch to keep an eye on your heart rate. (See the heart rate section above for guidance.)
Have a water bottle handy. You’ll want to hydrate because of the high intensity.
Lastly, make sure you’re wearing the right kind of shoes (cross trainers are best) and clothing. You want to be able to move easily so semi-tight clothing is best.