You’ve probably heard of HIIT workouts, also known as high-intensity interval training. This workout trend is taking over the health and exercise industry by storm, and for many good reasons. This workout consists of a short burst of intense exercise followed by a period of rest or a gentler, low-intensity exercise. The intervals can last as little as 45 seconds or as long as a few minutes. This sequence then repeats as many times as necessary until the workout is complete. HIIT workouts can be as short as 15-20 minutes or closer to an hour.
While there are a lot of fad trends out there, the benefits of HIIT interval training have proven this genre of workouts to be highly effective for many people. Here are just a few reasons why you should give a 20 minute HIIT workout a try.
Some benefits of HIIT workouts are that…
…Anyone can do them.
HIIT workouts are very flexible. You can focus on one area of your body, such as your arms or legs. You can select a specific exercise, such as a HIIT running workout or biking. Or you can do a combination of several exercises for a full-body experience. They can include weights or simply use your body weight for resistance. And since little to no equipment is required, HIIT workouts can be done almost anywhere, from the gym to the comfort of your own home.
HIIT workouts can adapt to any person at any point of their physical wellness journey. If you're a beginner, you can start with a 20 minute HIIT workout with maybe 40 seconds of intense activity and 20 seconds of rest as your sequence. If you’re more advanced, maybe try intensely training for a couple of minutes at a time with shorter rest periods.
…They are time-efficient.
The short duration of HIIT workouts can make them a very practical and effective choice for people who find it difficult to commit to longer sessions. Since your body is intensely active for most of the workout, you burn a lot of calories in a very short amount of time. HIIT workouts are an amazing way for busy people to incorporate exercise into their busy routine and still get all the benefits of a long gym session.
HIIT workouts are effective long after you throw in the towel because your metabolism keeps running long after you finish your workout. Studies show your metabolic rate can increase for hours after exercising—more so than jogging or weight training! Imagine, the impact of an hour at the gym in just a few minutes. No need to pack your essentials into a gym bag.
…You can reduce body fat and grow muscle.
Several studies have shown the benefits of HIIT workouts in reducing fat. One study suggested that simply doing three 20 minute HIIT workouts per week for 12 weeks could lead to significant fat loss. Another study suggested that HIIT workouts were better at burning fat than jogging!
HIIT may decrease body fat more than steadier cardiovascular exercise, such as jogging. Results are signficiant despite the relatively short time commitment, which could be especially beneficial for people who struggle with fat loss.
In addition to losing fat, HIIT workouts can help some people gain muscle mass as well. Usually the muscles in the core and legs see the most growth, especially in people who didn’t have much muscle mass to begin with.
…They can improve cardiovascular and metabolic health.
If you struggle with heart issues, you may find one of the benefits of HIIT interval training to be improved heart health. Research shows that HIIT workouts can reduce heart rate and blood pressure. 8 weeks of HIIT have comparable results to continuous endurance training with an end goal to decrease blood pressure in patients with abnormally high blood pressure. And you’d only have to do three 20 minutes HIIT exercises a week!
People who struggle with blood sugar levels may also find HIIT workouts helpful. A summary of 50 studies showed that not only did the blood sugar levels of HIIT athletes go down, but also improved insulin resistance. This makes HIIT workouts highly beneficial to those at risk for type 2 diabetes. The study showed that even people with healthy blood pressure could also see improved resistance to insulin.
Your oxygen consumption can improve through HIIT workouts, too. Most forms of endurance exercise can increase oxygen levels, especially biking or cycling. However, a simple HIIT running workout can produce the same results in less time. People who perform four 20 minute HIIT workouts a week improve their oxygen consumption by nine percent!
…Your mental health can improve.
Any form of exercise can be good for your mental health. However, one of the many benefits of HIIT workouts is how it affects mental illnesses. It can release endorphins and dopamine, which can significantly help reduce the severity of depression.
Many studies are still in process, but a 2015 research group surveyed 20 schizophrenia patients for 8 weeks of short HIIT workouts. At the end, 18 of them showed significant mental and physical improvements: their mental health scores showed reduced depression and less social avoidance. They also exhibited decreased body mass indexes, lower resting heart rates, lower pulse pressures, and decreased body weights.
Apply the benefits of HIIT to your life today, with a little help from Fuel For Fire.
HIIT workouts are a must for anyone seeking to spice up their physical exercise routine. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned athlete, the benefits of HIIT training are simply too good to pass up on, and easy enough to incorporate into your daily routine.
Just remember that after any workout, HIIT or not, it’s important to refuel. We recommend stocking up on some of our delectable protein smoothies. Not only are they delicious, but they are the perfect snack for before, during, and after an intense workout. The natural protein and vitamins are just the thing to replenish your muscles and boost your metabolism to get the maximum benefits from an HIIT workout. Use our store locator to find our products in stores or shop from our website!