What are the benefits of high intensity interval training?

Monday, December 31, 2012

What are the benefits of high intensity interval training?

Individuals who are looking for a new routine that will provide an effective calorie burn and help build aerobic endurance can consider their quest over, because high intensity interval training (HIIT) is the regimen they've been searching for.

HIIT is a versatile workout that describes any activity featuring rigorous bursts of exercise with intermittent periods of rest. Men and women alike can reap benefits from HIIT, which can help people reduce fat, prevent stress and develop endurance - not to mention, save time at the gym!

HIIT combats stress and improves overall health
Intense exercise punctuated by periods of recovery at lower-intensity speeds can be essential for reducing stress on a cellular level.

According to the National Institutes of Health, several recent studies have examined the impact of HIIT on healthy participants and those affected by metabolic syndrome, which is characterized by decreased levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and elevated levels of plasma triglycerides, as well as a larger waist circumference.

One study noted that a 12-week period of HIIT was effective in lowering blood pressure and curbing symptoms related to metabolic syndrome.

HIIT supports aerobic endurance
Cardio-based regimens can be a great way for individuals to get comfortable with working at the gym. Novices and experienced fitness enthusiasts alike can benefit from integrating HIIT routines into their fitness plans.

HIIT can enhance aerobic and anaerobic endurance, the latter of which is essential for conditioning the body to the demands of an intense workout. An HIIT regimen can also stimulate muscle fibers in different parts of the body.

HIIT is time-effective
According to a 2010 study conducted at McMaster University and published in The Journal of Physiology, HIIT is an efficient way to make the most out of a workout on commercial gym equipment. An HIIT routine offers the same advantages as traditional fitness training plans, yet at a quicker and more intense pace.

"Doing 10 one-minute sprints on a standard stationary bike with about one minute of rest in between, three times a week, works as well in improving muscle as many hours of conventional long-term biking less strenuously," said Martin Gibala, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Kinesiology at the university.

Gibala and his team noted that HIIT stimulates cellular pathways in a manner that's similar to endurance training, yet offers an alternative for individuals who struggle to find time daily to work out.

HIIT eliminates fat
Whether you plan to do several intervals on a commercial cross trainer or do some running on a treadmill, engaging in HIIT can help you burn away the most fat, according to Shape magazine. An intense workout with planned breaks also triggers the repair cycle in the body, which is key to HIIT's unique, calorie-blasting strength.