High-intensity interval training (HIIT) has long been touted as an effective way to get in shape. Incorporating HIIT in your weight loss program along with healthy lifestyle and balanced diet could be your ticket to a fitter and stronger body.
What is HIIT?
HIIT is a type of workout that involves alternating between intense bursts of activity and a fixed period of less-intense activity or rest.
Running fast for 1 minute and then walking for 2 minutes and repeating this five times over for 15 minutes is an example of a high intensity interval training exercise. HIIT workouts vary but regardless of how they are done, the high-intensity intervals generally involve short periods of intense exercise that can speed up the heart rate.
This type of workout may seem very simple to achieve weight loss and amid new trends in the weight loss industry, science has time and again proven that HIIT is an effective way to lose weight and even improve overall health.
How does HIIT Help with Weight Loss?
The kind of exercise that can help with weight loss has to help you create a calorie deficit, which can be achieved by burning calories. What makes HIIT better for weight loss compared with other forms of exercise is that it has an afterburn effect.
When you do HIIT, the metabolism of your body remains elevated hours after your workout. Jaime Schehr, a New York City-based expert in integrative medicine and nutrition, explained that this is known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, or EPOC. EPOC can help you burn more calories because you do not just expend your energy during the workout, but also after the exercise.
Another reason why HIIT is effective is that this workout is done at higher intensity within a shorter duration than other forms of physical activities, so you get to burn more calories in a shorter time.
This makes HIIT preferable for those who hardly find time to go to the gym to achieve a healthy weight.
Scientific studies also found evidence that HIIT can help people lose fat. In one of these studies,
researchers found that individuals who perform HIIT three times a week for 20 minutes per session lost 4.4. pounds of their body fat in just three months.
What makes this more impressive is they lost unwanted body fat sans having to make changes to their dietary consumption.
HIIT for Health
HIIT is popularly associated with weight loss, but the benefits of this workout go beyond helping people lose extra pounds. Research has shown that HIIT also helps produce health benefits.
Studies found that HIIT can reduce blood pressure and heart rate in overweight and obese individuals with high blood pressure. This workout is more effective in reducing blood pressure compared with the frequently recommended moderate-intensity exercise.
HIIT can likewise reduce blood sugar levels. In one analysis of 50 different studies, researchers found that HIIT is more effective than traditional continuous exercise for reducing blood sugar levels and improving insulin resistance.