6 Benefits of HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training)
Have you been running a consistent distance for some time but not seeing the fitness results you want? Do you find yourself skipping workouts because you just can’t fit them into your schedule?
It’s time you try High-Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT for short!
What is High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)?
HIIT is an interval training practice that combines short, high-intensity bursts of speed with slow recovery periods of mild activity or rest and helps to improve your performance incredibly. A HIIT workout lasts around ten to 30 minutes and is known as a very time-efficient way to train.(1,2)
By varying the intensity of your workout, you’ll reap the benefits of both aerobic and anaerobic training. Over time, HIIT can help improve your speed, strength, and endurance.
What Are the 6 Best High-Intensity Interval Training Benefits?
1. Extra Free Time
Interval training is the most efficient form of cardio and can deliver benefits much more quickly than typical cardio workouts. Research shows that 27 minutes of HIIT performed three times per week delivers the same aerobic and anaerobic results as 60 minutes.
2. Burn Calories (More and Quickly!)
Regarding weight loss, intervals are more effective than long, slow endurance exercises.(3) The intense effort you put in means your body must work harder to recover, so you’ll burn more calories in the 24 hours after an interval workout than you would after a slow, steady run. During those 24 hours after high-intensity interval training (HIIT), your body can also produce up to 450 percent more human growth hormone, which increases caloric burn.(4)
3. A Big Smile
Interval training creates a surge of endorphins, the natural opiates your brain produces due to challenging exercise.(5) Because of its short bursts of strenuous activity, interval training drastically boosts endorphin production, so you’ll experience a true “runner’s high” and feel happy and energized after your workout.
4. Increased Explosive Power, Speed, and Agility
Interval training stimulates several physiological changes that can increase explosive power, speed, and agility.(6)
For example, HIIT helps your body learn to burn lactic acid more efficiently – allowing you to exercise for a longer period of time before fatigue sets in. Interval training makes it easier to go farther and faster with more energy and will also help with your other cardio activities, including hiking, biking, swimming, and skiing.
5. A Healthier Heart
Although high-intensity intervals accelerate your heart rate, they can decrease the strain on your heart. Over time, cardiovascular exercise can increase your heart stroke volume or the amount of blood your heart pumps per beat. Interval training maximizes cardiovascular benefits, so it can quickly increase stroke volume, making your heart stronger and more efficient. HIIT also maximizes the other benefits of cardiovascular exercise, including decreasing your risk of heart disease and high blood pressure.(7,8,9)
6. Fewer Sick Days
Interval training also amplifies cardio’s other health benefits, including reducing cholesterol(10) and lowering the risk of arthritis and other inflammatory problems. In general, exercise has positive effects on your health and immune system and also can diversify the gut microbiota. But make sure not to overdo it if you’re a beginner: muscle damage and increased illness risk can occur from overtraining as your body is put under oxidative stress.(11) It is always recommended that you find a good middle ground between sports motivation and recovery.
Now you know everything about the six benefits of HIIT and why you should get started with it. Are you ready? Try the high-intensity interval training program in the adidas Training app today!