We all know that girl who watches an entire episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians while slogging away on a treadmill at a sluggish pace. We hope you’re not that girl.
Although this type of cardio (also known as low intensity steady state or LISS) has proven benefits for weight loss, it won’t help you built stamina or athleticism. Instead, you could be doing HIIT to burn a lot more calories in a lot less time – because let’s face it, we have better things to do than spending an hour on the elliptical every day.
No, you don’t really need to be a fitness influencer to do a HIIT workout. You can basically do it with any gym equipment (or even no equipment!).
As long as you’re putting your 100 per cent in the workout session, taking adequately long breaks and going all out in the short bursts of intense activity. Need more convincing to give high intensity interval training a chance? Here are 7 reasons to change your mind.
You Burn More Calories During the Workout
The biggest reason why HIIT is so popular in the fitness community is because it torches a lot more calories than tradition cardio or resistance training. A 20 minute session of HIIT can burn up to 30 per cent more calories than simply walking or jogging on a treadmill.
This is because HIIT is a physically challenging workout that demands a lot more energy than low-intensity alternatives, and your body is forced to keep up with the high amount of activity by burning more calories.
You Burn More Fat
HIIT doesn’t just burn calories, it melts away fat too. According to the author of Your Body is Your Barbell, BJ Gaddour, when you put your body under so much stress, it has no other option but to use its fat reserves for energy.
One study showed that doing 20-minute HIIT workout sessions three times a week helped people lose over 4.4 pounds of fat in just 4 months.
The Calorie-Burn Doesn’t Stop Even After the Workout
The benefits of HIIT just keep getting better and better. Besides torching more calories and fat, this type of training also boosts your metabolism so that you continue burning calories throughout the day.
In HIIT you push yourself to your maximum limit, where even breathing can become difficult. This is what really wakes up your metabolism from its deep slumber and tells it to get to work.
It Strengthens Your Heart
When you’re putting your body under so much stress, your heart starts working at an abnormally high rate to keep up the oxygen supply.
HIIT is indirectly exercising your heart muscle and pushing it to its maximum working capacity, which will only strengthen it over time and help you build stamina. According to a study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, HIIT can be extremely beneficial for people who already have heart issues.
It Helps You Control Your Blood Sugar
We all know that a healthy diet and less sugar consumption is key to maintaining low blood glucose levels, but performing HIIT can also improve the absorption of insulin and lower the risk of diabetes, according to scientific review of 50 studies.
Doctors say that your main goal should be to keep blood sugar levels low so that the pancreas doesn’t need to release a lot of insulin. Too much insulin release can cause your body to develop resistance to it which leads to diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.
It Lowers Blood Pressure
One of the biggest causes behind heart disease is high blood pressure. It can weaken your heart and surrounding vessels over time. But with just 20 minutes of HIIT sessions performed thrice a week for eight weeks can significantly reduce blood pressure which can prevent heart diseases over the long run.
It Improves Oxygen Consumption
Oxygen consumption is your body’s ability to use up oxygen from the main respiratory organs and the blood vessels which carry oxygenated blood from the heart to the rest of the body. According to a study, doing 20 minutes of HIIT four times a week can enhance oxygen consumption by almost 10 per cent in 5 weeks.