The Five Benefits of HIIT Workouts You Should Know AboutPosted: Mar 26 in Getting Active by Staff
In the fitness world, high-intensity interval training has experienced a surge in popularity in recent years. High-intensity interval training — or HIIT for short — is a style of workout in which brief periods of intense effort are punctuated by short rests. As it turns out, HIIT offers some powerful advantages over other styles of exercise. Here are the five big benefits of high-intensity interval training.
- Greater efficiency.
HIIT is perfect for anyone with a busy life. High-intensity exercise means more is accomplished in a given period of time. Traditional cardio workouts are great, but cannot match the efficient intensity of a HIIT workout. For example, if you have only twenty minutes to exercise in, a HIIT workout is likely your best option.
- A tougher challenge.
The same old workouts can get pretty dull after a while — especially if they take a long time. A quicker, more intense exercise routine is a great way to regain lost motivation and avoid burnout. It’s hard to be bored during something as intense as HIIT. It’s important to periodically take on fresh challenges, and HIIT provides a chance to do precisely that.
- HIIT is an anaerobic exercise.
Anaerobic exercises are those for which the body cannot rely on oxygen intake alone. In practical terms, an anaerobic exercise is one that leaves you panting for breath. Anaerobic exercises can only be continued for a short period — as in HIIT workouts. Anaerobic exercise is great for you. By pushing the cardiovascular system to its limits, heart health is improved. Athletic performance is raised as well.
HIIT workouts typically consist of sprints, basic bodyweight exercises such as squats and burpees, or other simple moves. Despite being amazing exercise, HIIT workouts do not require complicated equipment, expensive classes — or even a gym membership for that matter.
- Increased VO2 max.
‘VO2 max’ is a term for the maximal amount of oxygen intake. Put another way, VO2 max is how much oxygen your body can consume. The higher your VO2 max, the longer and harder you can exercise — which is why VO2 max is a great measurement of overall fitness levels. HIIT exercises are ideal for increasing VO2 max, and are thereby especially valuable for athletes.
While high-intensity interval training is a great way to work out, it’s also quite demanding. HIIT is supposed to be intense, but don’t go overboard at first. Stay safe from injury by starting off relatively slowly. Otherwise, there’s no reason not to give high-intensity interval training a shot — especially in light of the powerful advantages of this style of exercise.