Five Benefits of HIIT (High-Intensity-Interval-Training)
As some of you may be aware, I recently started a new running plan on RunKeeper – one of their free ones called “Running for Fat Loss”. It includes a combination of endurance runs and interval training and it really kicks your butt! Well, it has been kicking mine at least. The last time I did a RunKeeper plan, I really noticed a significant improvement in my speed and endurance, and I have no doubts that I’ll notice the same results by the end of this one. My current plan will take me to the end of October – just as the weather gets too cool for me (I can’t stand to run in the cold, I’ve tried, it sucks, I refuse to do it). Anyhow, so while I’ve been huffing and puffing my way through intervals, I thought it would be a good idea to write up the benefits associated with such an intense regime – so here we go!
1) Burns More Fat
You burn a bunch of calories just doing the workout itself, more than you would doing a moderate elliptical workout for example, but it’s the AFTER-workout benefits that really make HIIT shine. The high intensity puts your body into a little bit of shock, which sends it hurling into its repair cycle after you finish. That cycle needs to eat up more energy to work effectively, which means you’ll be getting your burn on long after you’ve finished those intervals!
2) Increases your Metabolism
Everyone’s always saying their metabolism is too slow – and while there’s a lot of heavy debate about that, if you’re looking to throw your metabolism a curveball, HIIT is a good place to start. It stimulates the production of your human growth hormone (HGH) by upwards of 450% after your workout is complete, which means not only are you getting a great after-burn, you’re slowing down your body’s natural aging process so you’ll be youthful AND fit!
3) It’s Efficient
Simply put, HIIT is one of the most effective bang-for-your-buck kind of workouts. Yeah it’ll be a tough 30 minutes (or however long you go for), but you’ll see greater results from a HIIT than prolonged cardio workouts at a more moderate pace. Plus, if time is a concern for you, this will free up a lot of it, meaning you won’t have to choose between your workout and your other commitments.
4) Good For Your Heart
We all want to have a healthy heart, right? HIIT puts you into the aerobic zone – fast, and for the duration of your workout – which means your heart and lungs will be pumping oxygen to your muscles throughout. If you do HIIT 2-3 days a week, you’ll notice significant improvements in your cardiovascular fitness.
5) It Lowers Your Glucose Levels
If you have Type 2 Diabetes (or it runs in your family and you’re trying to stay ahead of it), studies have shown that HIIT will help lower your glucose levels far more than a steady moderate run will, despite the fact that you could be burning the same amount of calories.
I could write a longer list but frankly it would just be further expanding on how time/cost effective this kind of workout is, so I’ll stop here and just say; get out there and try some HIIT!