5 benefits of HIIT workouts
If you want to be healthy, you really need to be fit- whatever ‘fit’ means to you, you want to put as much effort as is practical into achieving and maintaining it. Almost a third of us (and far more in the developed world) are not physically active enough.
This will likely include you if you don’t consciously perform any exercise, don’t walk anywhere, and don’t have a physically demanding job. However, finding time to get to the gym in Dubai and exercise may be impractical- we all have commitments and many of us want our downtime to be downtime.
HIIT is a bit of a catch-all term for training regimens that make use of short, sharp periods of intense exercise spaced out with recovery periods. It includes circuit training, certain types of aerobic exercise, Tabata protocols, sprint training, and many more.
But what are the benefits of training in this way? Let’s look at five of them:
1. HIIT works you hard in a short amount of time
The shortest HIIT variation commonly used, the Tabata Protocol, will have you on your knees, heaving, with your muscles burning, and it only takes four minutes (plus a little extra for warming up and stretching.)
This is an extreme case of extremely hard exercise. However, for most HIIT variations, you can potentially burn triple the calories of a similar amount of time running or cycling. In fact, just a few minutes of HIIT training can boost your metabolic rate over 24 hours by the same amount as an hour-long run.
2. It boosts your metabolic rate
As mentioned above, HIIT raises your metabolic rate. Not only does HIIT burn calories during training, but it keeps going after you’ve finished- for several hours, actually. As you go about your daily life after a decent HIIT session, your body will be using more calories than usual.
This makes HIIT perfect for weight loss.
3. It can help you to lose fat
This style of intense training also shifts your body’s primary energy source away from glycogen and towards body fat, meaning that weight loss will be achieved more efficiently. It can reduce body fat and waist circumference the same as traditional steady-state cardio. However, what’s more interesting (aside from taking less time per workout to achieve these results) is that HIIT seems to decrease visceral fat far more than steady-state.
4. It can help you to build muscle
This ties in with the raised metabolism. HIIT goes beyond simply aiding in weight loss- it can help you to build muscle as you put your body under adequate resistance to elicit hypertrophy. This, in turn, increases metabolic demand, whilst also improving overall musculature and athleticism.
Most gains will come to larger muscle groups, which are typically used during HIIT. These include the trunk, core, and legs (performing sprints or jumping squats is far more aerobically demanding, thus more suited to HIIT, than, say, push-ups or pull-ups.)
5. It can reduce heart rate, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels
There are great health benefits to taking part in HIIT besides weight loss and muscle gain. It can reduce heart rate and blood pressure, elevated levels for both of which are indicators and/or causes of severe underlying health conditions. This is especially pronounced in overweight individuals.
Once more, these results are similar to those gained from traditional steady-state cardio. It’s just that, with HIIT, they only take a few minutes rather than a few hours per week. However, HIIT may, in fact, improve both by more than some more traditional exercise styles for those suffering chronically high levels.
In addition, blood sugar levels should be significantly reduced after just a three-month period of regular HIIT sessions, and insulin resistance will be improved over and above what traditional training methods offer. This helps to fight against chronic diseases like type II diabetes.
HIIT is an incredibly efficient way to gain the benefits of an active lifestyle with good-quality exercise when you are pressed for time. You can enjoy weight loss, muscle gain, improved athleticism, and the many health benefits listed above.
Even if you have plenty of time for exercise, it still brings plenty of benefits above and beyond more traditional training methods. Simply set aside 10 minutes per day or finish your regular workouts at the gym in Dubai with a HIIT routine, to reap the many rewards it offers.