High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is now a trending fitness buzzword, not only among athletes and fitness enthusiasts but also among the general public. The reason for this popular fitness trend is not far-fetched. This is certainly due to the incredible health benefits that have been found to be associated with a regular and consistent HIIT practice.
Fitness experts, athletes, and other fitness enthusiasts have discover the great potential in HIIT for health improvement and have started incorporating this fitness option into their fitness routines. Many sport enthusiasts and athletes have argued that high-intensity interval training can help increase metabolism rate, supports weight loss, and improves athletic performance. Hence, the increasing popularity of this fitness option in the athletic and sports arena
If you’ve heard about HIIT and you have been wondering what it is and how you can practice it to gain the benefits it offers, I advise you to read on as I share with you some nitty-gritty of this trending fitness option. Now let start from the basics:
What is HIIT?
High-intensity interval training is a fitness option that involves a cycle of repeated rigorous workouts and resting sessions. It is a type of cardiovascular exercise that may involve the use of treadmills, rowing, or jumping rope. As the name implies, HIIT involves intense challenge that makes you sweat fast and with a resting time for a slower recovery, which is then followed by another round of high-intensity challenge. The preference for your work and rest period would depend on your capacity and this can vary from a rest of between 6 seconds to 4 minutes after a rigorous workout of about 15-20 minutes. If practiced frequently and consistently, HIIT can help improve your cardio health.
How to Practice HIIT
HIIT can be done indoors or outdoors. It usually does not require any equipment, unless you choose to train on cardio equipment such as a treadmill, stair-climbing machine, or a weight set. If you want to practice high-intensity interval training, you need to understand its peculiarity. Typically, HIIT usually involves two key elements – intensity and interval. You can train rigorously for a specific period of time, say about 15-20 minutes or 25-30 minutes depending on your tolerance level and then take about 6 seconds to 5 minutes rest, before going back to your intense workout session. The different aspects of the training which can be adjusted to your personal preferences include:
- Intensity of training, rest interval, and duration
- With or without equipment
- Frequency of training schedule
- Body weight or weight training
- Type of activity involves
- Number of repetitions
- Number of sets and between set rest
You may need to perform your HIIT session for three days a week for at least three weeks before you can start seeing significant results in your health and physique.
What Are the Health Benefits of HIIT?
There are several health values of practicing high-intensity interval training. Some of these benefits include:
1. It Helps Reduce Blood Sugar Levels
Regular HIIT practice can help improve your insulin sensitivity as well as lower your blood glucose. This implies that HIIT can be beneficial for alleviating diabetic condition if practice regularly by people suffering from diabetes.
2. Improves Physical Fitness
Another obvious benefit of HIIT is that it can help improve your physical fitness as well as increase your tolerance level to workouts, especially if you’re overweight. So, if you can complete a 3-week training of 3 sessions per week, you can gain significant improvement in your physique as well as shown great improvement in your exhaustion time and peak power output.
3. Increases Fat Loss
With frequent HIIT sessions, you can burn a significant amount of body fat within a short period of time. HIIT can have significant impacts on the health of people who are obese by helping them to lose weight.
4. Higher Post-Exercise Benefits
HIIT can also have significant post-exercise impacts on your health. Due to its high-intensity challenge, it can have a lasting metabolic benefit on your system, even for several hours after your training.
How to Incorporate HIIT into Your Life
If you’re an athlete or an experienced fitness enthusiast, you may not find it difficult incorporating HIIT into your life. This is because you are already a recreational active person and your system is already accustomed to rigorous athletic and endurance performance.
However, if you’re a beginner looking to incorporate HIIT practice into your life, your system will need more time to adjust to such a high-level training. Hence, it is important to start your training at a lower-intensity level so as to avoid injuries. It is advisable to start off with a professional fitness trainer, who can guide you through the initial process as incorrectly performed procedures can lead to severe injury in this type of high-intensity training.
High-intensity interval training offers a wide range of health benefits. Thus, it can be of great benefits to your health if some aspects of HIIT workouts are added into your daily fitness routines. Just make sure it’s something you enjoy doing, and try to be consistent at doing it. I’m sure it won’t take long before you start getting positive compliments on your health and physique from friends and family members who found you admirable.